Unstoppable Ash Barty caps off amazing fortnight

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Unstoppable Ash Barty caps off amazing fortnight

It really is a Barty Party as the Aussie powerhouse celebrates tonight after winning the biggest title of her career yet at the Miami Open. The down to earth Aussie defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets 7-6 (1), 6-3 to do what no Australian has ever done before and claim the trophy in Miami.

“It's been an amazing fortnight of tennis. It really has. I think it's pretty cool to have played such a good match today, obviously in a big situation and a big match. Certainly proud of myself and happy the way that my team and I have been able to get through these two weeks,” a beaming Barty told media after the match.

“It was going to be a match of small opportunities. I think I was able to claw my way back into the first set and take an opportunity when I got it in the tiebreak. I think it was important for me to try and get that first set.

I think that first set today was going to be massive. I was able to get a bit of a roll on in the second early and keep the foot down”. In a milestone fortnight, 22 year old Barty defeated Dayana Yastemska, Sam Stosur, Kiki Bertens, Petra Kvitova, Anett Kontaveit and Pliskova to hoist the trophy and soar into the top 10 rankings.

Barty is the first Australian to break into the WTA's elite field since compatriot Stosur did so in 2013. “We (Barty and her team) keep putting ourselves in these positions, and I keep giving myself the opportunity to continue to grow as a person and as a player, and I think that's the most exciting thing”.

She added: “I feel like we have jumped over a few hurdles this week. We have been able to, you know, make the most of some situations that I put myself in. I think that's the beauty of this sport is that there is always another opportunity to become a better player, to try and make the most of what you can.

That's what we have been able to do over this last fortnight, to beat some really quality players. And to back it up each day is probably the most pleasing. 2019 has seen a variety of players step up to the mark and claim the big wins, as Barty became the 33rd different player to win a title in as many ATP and WTA events.

“It's amazing, isn't it? I think particularly on the women's side, I think the level has evened out a lot, and the depth has grown over the last few years,” Barty explained. “I think anyone in the draw has a legitimate chance of winning the tournament.

I think you have to continue to put yourself in those situations and try and make the most of it. I think the margins are getting smaller and smaller, particularly in the women's game”. Barty credited her stint playing cricket in the Big Bash League as giving her a new perspective and appreciation for tennis.

“It feels like it's a long time ago now since I took the break and since I came back. It's been a few years now, but I certainly feel like I'm a very different person. I feel like I'm a more complete player, I'm a better player.

I have been able to put myself into more high-pressure situations and in bigger matches. So it's been, you know, a helluva couple years since my comeback. I can't really complain at all”. “I think I was, you know, an average cricketer and I'm becoming a better tennis player.

No, it was certainly an enjoyable time in my life. It was a time that I think I found myself a little bit more as a person and I met an amazing group of girls and a new circle of friends, I suppose. But I think tennis was always my calling.

“I think I had a new perspective. Obviously I'm very appreciative of what I have and the people that give their time and their energy towards me and trying to help me become the very best that I can be. I'm extremely grateful for those that are around me and very lucky to have such a genuine group of people.

I think the time that I was away, I certainly, you know, grew to love the sport more, having not been involved in it”.