Ash Barty earned the biggest victory of her tennis career on Saturday as she beat Karolina Pliskova 7-6(1), 6-3 to win the Miami Masters.
The Australian will rise into the ranking Top 10 for the fist time on Monday after her achievement in just under one and three-quarter hours.
Defeat kept Pliskova from the No. 2 ranking behind Naomi Osaka but boosted the Czech from seventh to fourth.
Barty finished off victory on the first of three match points as her opponent drove a return long.
“It’s been a phenomenal two weeks,” the winner said. “I had a tough match, I had to play physical.
“Karo can hit you off the court if she gets the chance. I had to have my running shoes on today.”
Pliskova still leads the WTA with 21 match wins this season; Barty now owns four career titles.
“You don’t get chances like this very often,” Barty said. “I want to continue to try and do the right thing.”
Pliskova admitted to fatigue after also reaching the quarterfinals at Indian Wells and achieving the same at Dubai over the past six weeks.
“I”m tired, it’s been a long six weeks, “the Czech said. “Congratulations to Ash, she came up with great shots when she needed them.
“She played tough all the way.”
Barty got away to a first-set break for 2-1 but lost it three games later. The Australian who once stepped away from the court to play professional cricket ran away with the tiebreaker to take command of the momentum.
Pliskova lost serve to start the second set and unsuccessfully played catch-up all the way to the end. She needed to fight for 11 minutes just to hold in the third game and faded in the closing stretch.
Barty took a 3-2 lead in their series after losing to Pliskova in their last meeting, the US Open fourth round last September.