Australia’s world no. 11 Ash Barty took on world no.19 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia for a place in what would be their biggest final in their careers to date.
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Photo: Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during day eleven of the Miami Open tennis on March 28, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Several rain delays interrupted play. The opening game saw Barty drop serve. Kontaveit held in the next game to take an early 2-0 lead.
The first of the rain came with the score at 2-0. After some time there were blue skies above the stadium. Down on the court blowers came out to dry the surface.
Kontaveit served after the first resumption of play and immediately she was facing three break points. She saved the first when coming to the net and forcing an error from Barty. A short sliced Ace saved the next. On the third opportunity, it was an error from the Estonian that handed Barty the break back.
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Photo: Anett Kontaveit of Estonia plays a backhand in her match against Ashleigh Barty of Australia during day eleven of the Miami Open tennis on March 28, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The Australian then held to love to level the score at 2-2. With Kontaveit ready to serve the rain again came down.
Kontaveit resumed serving for the second time after a rain delay and held, as did Barty, but then a sloppy game from the Estonian where she double-faulted to present a break point, followed by a shot into the net saw Barty get the next break in the match.
Barty was under pressure in her next service game with Kontaveit looking at a break point at 30-40. Barty saved that in style with a good first serve that Kontaveit hit short on the return.
Barty quickly moved to the ball to place her shot down the line. Kontaveit lobbed and then Barty smashed away to save the point. The Australian would hold.
Things got worse for the Estonian. She found herself down three set points at 3-5. Barty closed it out to love to be in control at 6-3.
With Barty serving at 1-1 she held game point at 40-30 but then hit a forehand well wide to see the score at deuce. Eventually, it was Kontaveit that would earn the first break of the second set. A break point was presented to Kontaveit after Barty missed a drop shot.
The first was saved when Kontaveit hit well wide, but another opportunity came up after a double fault from Barty. A forehand that went long saw Kontaveit secure the break.
Kontaveit was able to consolidate the break to lead 3-1. A string of errors from Kontaveit helped Barty win the next service game to love.
Barty would go on a run of five games to secure the 6-3, 6-3 win, to reach the biggest final of her career. Barty sealed her second match point in style, serving an Ace.
The Australian awaits the winner for the match between Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova. If Halep reaches the final she will have earned the no. 1 ranking.