Ash Barty successfully defended her 2019 Miami title Saturday cruising past Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 4-0 ret. In the third game of the second set Andreescu took a tumble on her right ankle. She then retired once she lost the game, but at the time Barty was well on her way to her 12th straight match in in Miami.
“It’s never the way you ever want to finish a match, particularly in a final,” said Barty. “I really do feel for Bianca. I think she’s had such a rough trot with injuries in the past.
“I think that’s going to be one of the first of many battles for us. I just hope from now on they are healthy and we can both stay out on the court and fight for everything that we can give.
“Obviously I feel for her having to pull out today.”
With her versatility and Andreescu somewhat off after having won four straight three straight matches, Barty was in full domination in their first-ever meeting between these two Top 10 stars.
“It was pretty tricky conditions today, really blustery on court,” said Barty. “It’s hard to get a true indication of kind of both of our games.
“Of course there is a period where you’re trying to work out what you want to try and do, but the conditions were brutal today. It was nice just to try and find my way through it a little bit in the end.”
Barty wins her 10th career title, her first title defense and becomes just the 6th woman to defend a Miami crown after Steffi Graf, Venus Williams, Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario, Venus Williams and Monica Seles.
“I shouldn’t belong with that group,” Barty said. “I feel like I haven’t earned the right to be in a list of names with those champions. They are genuine champions of our sport, legends of our sport. I feel very privileged to be mentioned in that sentence, and it’s very cool and something I was unaware of.
“I think it’s extremely humbling to be mentioned in the same sentence as those champions, but I feel like I’ve got a long, long way to go yet before I can be in discussion with those names.”
Andreescu is hopeful for the future despite the injury.
“It was a great tournament,” Andreescu said. “I really fought through very tough matches. My body seemed to be good up until today. I mean, I think it was just, like, a freak accident. I twisted my foot.
“But other than that, I’m super grateful. Like this is my first tournament back, one of my first tournaments back in a really long time, and all I can say is that I’m super grateful.”
The 24-year-old had to travel some 50 hours just to get her first event outside of Australian in over a year. She’ll now stay in the U.S.A. to play Charleston before heading over to Europe for the red clay.
She also keeps her No. 1 ranking and the title helps validate that top spot.
“I feel like we deserve to be top of the rankings,” Barty said. “We have had such a fantastic season. Also, I think everyone needs to understand that it’s a pandemic. It’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing for a lot of us to go through, so it’s a bit of a difficult situation.”
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