Ash Barty outlasted Aryna Sabalenka over nearly two and a half hours on Tuesday, winning 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 to secure the first WTA semi-final place at the Miami Masters.

The world No. 1 who still has to keep ahead of rival Naomi Osaka this week to hold onto her position, was proud of her showing.

“That was certainly the best level I’ve played for a long time and certainly for a sustained period,” she said. .

“I really had to look after my service games and I did that really well today. 

“I needed to be as aggressive as I could inside the court.”

The defending champion Australian, winner at the last edition in 2019,  absorbed 12 aces from her Belarus opponent. She saved all seven break points she faced to earn her 20th victory in a WTA quarter-final.

Eighth-ranked Sabalenka, winner of the Abu Dhabi title to start the season, lost serve twice.

Barty levelled her record in the series to 3-3 as the Queenslander faced a fellow Top 10 opponent for the first time since the 2020 Australian Open.

Main photo:- Ash Barty on her way to first Miami Masters semi-final by


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