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Barty Defeats Pliskova to Capture the Miami Open Title

Karen Pestaina @TennisNewsTPN
Appearing in her first WTA Premier Mandatory final, No. 12 seed Ashleigh Barty defeated No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova 7-6(1), 6-3 to win the Miami Open title, the most important trophy so far in the Australian’s tennis career. The win for the 22-year-old Barty is her fourth career WTA Tour title. Her victory will move her into the Top Ten for the first time, she’ll be No. 9 in the world as of Monday.

She’s is the first Australian woman to win the Miami Open and the first Aussie woman in the Top Ten since Sam Stosur in 2013.

In the first set, Pliskova got an early break to take a 2-1 lead, extending it to 3-1. Barty recovered, winning three straight games to level the set. Both women held on to force a tiebreak.

After 1-1, in the tiebreak, Barty won the next six straight points, using her variety, especially her slice backhand to create points and claim the first set 7-6(1).
The second set opened with a 12-plus minute game which saw Barty earn a break. She extended her lead to 2-0 and almost earned a second break in the third game, which was a 10-plus minute marathon, but the Czech held off the surging Aussie.

Both women continued to hold their serves, Barty with ease, but Pliskova struggling until the ninth game, when the Aussie break serve to end the match 7-6(1), 6-3.

Barty’s crafty game produced 42 winners, which included 15 aces. Normally, Pliskova is the player who leads in the ace count. Pliskova had only 6 aces, 20 winners against 26 unforced errors. Barty hit 20 errors during the match, breaking her opponent’s serve three times.

“It’s been a phenomenal two weeks on the singles and doubles court,” said Barty in her on-court TV interview.

“Wimbledon last year was a turning point for me and I’ve been able to run with it. I knew I had to have my running shoes on today to make as many balls as possible.

“You don’t get these opportunities every day and you have to try and make the most of it.”

Barty now takes a 3-2 lead in her head-to-head record agains the former No. 1 Pliskova.

So far during the 2019 tennis season, 14 different women and 19 different men have captured trophies in just as many tournaments.

Karen Pestaina is a contributor to MiamiTennisNews. She writes for various tennis and news outlets and is the Editor-in-Chief of Tennis Panorama News. Follow her on Twittter @TennisNewsTPN.

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