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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

No. 1 Barty Repeats as Miami Champ When Andreescu Retires | Sports News

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By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) — No. 1-ranked Ash Barty won her second successive Miami Open championship Saturday by beating No. 8-seeded Bianca Andreescu, who was injured when she fell and retired trailing in the second set.

Andreescu, crying and shaking her head, conceded while behind 6-3, 4-0.

She stumbled and went sprawling two games earlier when she turned her foot awkwardly while hitting a forehand. During the ensuing changeover, a trainer taped her foot, but she played only five more points before retiring.

“Definitely not the way I wanted to end the tournament,” Andreescu said, “but I’m super grateful nonetheless. I got to the final of one of my first tournaments in a while now, and I could not be more happy.”

The match was the first between Barty and Andreescu, and a potential friendly rivalry looms.

“I hope you recover well and this doesn’t hinder your season too much,” Barty told Andreescu during the trophy ceremony. “I’m sure we’ll have many more good and hopefully healthy matches in the future.”

A 20-year-old Canadian, Andreescu has been plagued by injuries in her short career, and the tournament was her first in the United States since she won the 2019 U.S. Open. The coronavirus pandemic also curtailed her schedule.

Barty, a 24-year-old from Australia, dominated from the start of the final with her strong serve and all-court game, and Andreescu looked weary after playing three sets in each of her previous four matches — all at night.

Barty was also the 2019 Miami champion. The tournament was canceled last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Five other women have won consecutive Miami titles: Stefanie Graf, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

On Sunday, 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner will try to become the youngest men’s champion in tournament history when he plays No. 26-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. Each is seeking the biggest title of his career.

Barty, playing outside of Australia for the first time since February 2020, was one point from defeat in her opening match against Kristina Kucova. She gained momentum from there and will keep her No. 1 ranking next week.

“It’s a great start for us,” Barty said. “I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a big season for us, and hopefully we can play some really good tennis.”

Because the pandemic reduced tournament revenue and severely limited attendance, the champion received $300,110, compared with the $1.35 million Barty won in 2019. Only 750 fans were allowed on the grounds per session.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steve_Wine

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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