Barty seals maiden Miami Open crown in style


Barty pumped her fists when Pliskova sent a forehand long on match point to hand the 22-year-old her fourth WTA title and a $1.3 million ($A1.8m) winner’s cheque.

Barty becomes the first Australian woman in the top 10 since fellow Queenslander Samantha Stosur in 2013.Credit:AP

The victory capped a memorable week for 2011 junior Wimbledon champion, who took a break from tennis in 2014 to play professional cricket for the Brisbane Heat.

Barty, the 2018 US Open women’s doubles champion, will be No.9 when the WTA rankings are published on Monday.

“It’s been a phenomenal two weeks,” Barty said.

“I feel a turning point for me was at Wimbledon last year and I’ve been playing some great tennis since then.”

Barty said the key to the win over Pliskova was extending rallies on the warm day in Southern Florida.

Carolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, leans over after losing a point against Barty.

Carolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, leans over after losing a point against Barty. Credit:AP

“It was important for me to try to make it physical,” she said in an on-court interview.

“Kaja has the ability to really hit you off the court and take it away from you so I knew I had to have my running shoes on today to try and make as many balls as possible.”

Barty fired a career-high 15 aces, with Pliskova barely making an effort to return some of them.

“I tried to make the most of it,” she said of playing an exhausted opponent.

“You don’t get these opportunities every single day and it was important for me to continue and try to do the right things and enjoy the moment as well.”

Pliskova, who will rise to world number four on Monday, praised her conqueror.

“I’ll make it quick because I’m very tired and it was a long two weeks,” the 27-year-old said.

“Congrats to Ashleigh. She played incredible all week, all the matches were close and especially today I thought she came up with some good tennis.”

Reuters, AAP

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