By Bob Stockton
World No. 1 Ash Barty successfully defended her title from 2019 at the Miami Open when Bianca Andreescu retired in the second set of the final.
Barty completed the 6-3, 4-0 victory in the first staging of the event after a one-year postponement due to COVID-19 after Andreescu was forced to retire in tears with an injury to her right ankle in the second set on Saturday.
“It’s never the way you ever want to finish a match, particularly in a final,” Barty said. “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,” Barty added.
In the men’s final, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland defeated 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner xxxxx
Barty completed a tremendous turnaround from the start of the event. In her two-and-a-half-hour opening clash against Kristina Kucova of Slovakia, 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, before earning her milestone 10th WTA singles title.
“I felt like with each match I have been playing better and better, which is ultimately what we are after,” Barty said. “To be able to have the title at the end is a bonus, and to be able to defend my title the first time in my career I’ve been able to do that is really, really special too.”
With the absence of “the big three” – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – from the field, Hurkacz took advantage to win his first Masters 1000 level event to win his third career ATP title.
Hurkacz, who moved from No. 37 to No. 16 in the ATP rankings with the win, is the lowest ranked winner in Miami since Tim Mayotte won the title while ranking No. 45 in the inaugural event in 1985.