That’s a wrap on the sunshine double! The 2019 Miami Open came to a close on Sunday with the 14th different winner on the tour so far this year. This post includes a review of Saturday’s Miami final between Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova, and a look ahead to Charleston next week, one of my favourite tournaments of the year!
Ash Barty won the whole caboodle in Miami with a 7-6(1) 6-3 victory over Karolina Pliskova in Saturday’s final. Barty won the biggest title of her career and will crack the world’s top ten next week for the first time in her career.
From the first set onwards, Barty was lights out. The Aussie played a near-perfect first set tiebreak as she increasingly used her devilish slice to control the points. It was clear that Pliskova was physically struggling in the second set and two long service games at the start of the second set didn’t help her cause. Barty meanwhile, was rolling through her service games. The Aussie was serving at 89% of first serves in (!) during the second set and dropped just two points on serve. In total, Barty hit 15 aces during the one hour and 39 minute contest.
I’m really thrilled for Ash. She’s such a professional and a thoroughly decent person. I’ve written a lot about the improvements to her game this year on the blog. Noteworthy in Miami was her mentality in the big matches. She’s always been a reliable player against players ranked below her, but historically struggled against the best on tour. In 2018, Barty went 1-7 against top ten players. Already in 2019, Barty is 5-3 against the top ten. I’m particularly excited to see Ash on grass this year but I don’t see why she can’t have success on the clay.
It was yet another strong week for Pliskova. Playing Barty when you’re not feeling your best physically is not exactly an ideal combination! I sense Pliskova will get that big title soon if she keeps putting herself in these situations.
Barty’s shot of the day
Gorgeous from Ash and not the only time she did this in the final!
The draw for Charleston was unveiled on Saturday with the likes of Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens, Caroline Wozniacki, Aryna Sabalenka and Madison Keys present. A decent draw but I wish this tournament wasn’t straight after Miami as I feel it would attract a much stronger line-up. Five first rounders i’ve got my eye on…
Sofia Kenin (13) vs. Sabine Lisicki
Petra Martic (16) vs. Amanda Anisimova
Maria Sakkari (15) vs. Alizé Cornet
Veronika Kudermetova vs. Kaia Kanepi
Sara Errani vs. Monica Puig
Charleston is a tournament i’d love to attend one day! I’ll be blogging for the week on MTB. For on-site updates, check out @4TheTennis and @uncdanward on Twitter.
Hopman Cup update
I’m glad to see there is an intention to find a new home for the Hopman Cup. Intrigued to see where this will be and what position in the calendar!