The 24-year-old has now won 12 consecutive matches in the tournament.

Australia’s tennis star Ashleigh Barty defeated an injured No.8 seed Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 4-0, ret. to successfully defend the Miami Open title on Saturday.

The World No. 1 won the match after her Canadian opponent suffered an injury at 2-0 in the second set, then retired two games later. She became the sixth woman to defend the Miami Open crown, following in the legendary footsteps of Stefanie Graf (1987-88, 1994-96), Monica Seles (1990-91), Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario (1992-93), Venus Williams (1998-99), and Serena Williams (2002-04, 2007-08, 2013-15).

Each of these six players has held the World No.1 ranking. Barty is the first No.1 seed to win the Miami Open since American tennis star Serena Williams in 2015.

After the match, Barty said, “They are genuine champions of our sport, legends of Tennis. 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. I feel like I’ve got a long, long way to go yet before I can be in discussion with those names.”

“It’s never the way you ever want to finish a match, particularly in a final. 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.”

She completed an impressive turnaround from the start of the event. In her two-and-a-half-hour opening match against Kristina Kucova, Barty needed to save a match point before staving off the challenge from the qualifier. The top seed was able to battle through the draw from there (including three-set wins over Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka), earning her 10th WTA singles title in the process.

Andreescu’s arduous trip through the draw, which included four three-setters in a row en route to the final, came to a unlucky end in the final. The Canadian had already missed the entirety of the 2020 season due to injuries, and Miami was only her third event in the past two seasons.

Still, Andreescu’s bold run to the final means she still boasts a stunning 33-3 win-loss record in North America since the start of 2019. Additionally, Andreescu is projected to move up three spots in the WTA rankings to World No.6.

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