‘I really feel for Bianca’ – Ashleigh Barty beats injured Andreescu to defend Miami Open title
Ashleigh Barty became the sixth woman to defend the Miami Open title after Bianca Andreescu was forced to retire through injury in Saturday’s final.
The world No. 1 defeated the Canadian 6-3, 4-0, ret. to retain the WTA 1000 crown she won in 2019. In the first set, the pair exchanged breaks before Barty broke for 4-2 and closed out the set with two holds.
The 24-year-old Australian then broke in the opening game of the second set and was leading 2-0 when Andreescu sustained a foot injury. The eighth seed played on but retired two games later.
“It’s never the way you ever want to finish a match, particularly in a final,” Barty said in her post-match press conference.
“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.
— wta (@WTA) April 3, 2021
“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.”
Barty joins an illustrious group of WTA players to have defended the Miami Open title: Steffi Graf (three times), Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams (five times).
“They are genuine champions of our sport, legends of our sport,” Barty said when asked about the feat.
“I feel very privileged to be mentioned in that sentence, and it’s very cool and something I was unaware of.
“But I think it’s extremely humbling to be mentioned in the same sentence as those champions, (and) I feel like I’ve got a long, long way to go yet before I can be in discussion with those names.”
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