A pair of 2019 Grand Slam champions will meet for the Miami Masters title when No. 1 Ash Barty takes on Canada’s Bianca Andreescu.
Barty, who lifted Roland Garros during the last full WTA season prior to the 2020 arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, has never faced Andreescu, who won the US Open that year but missed almost everything since with a string of injuries.
The 20-year-old ranked ninth has shed little light on her problems, but is in apparently good nick heading into the title showdown with her Australian opponent.
Andreescu reached the final through a 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(4) defeat of Maria Sakkari which ran for two and three-quarter hours into Friday morning.
“I had no choice but to run for everything and just fight until the end,” the Canadian who has made her best showings in North America said.
“She was really taking control of the points a lot of the time. It was really tough, I’m not going to lie.
“It could’ve been either of us winning. I’m just super happy that I pulled through.”
Andreescu has won titles at Indian Wells, Toronto in addition to her New York Grand Slam and has never faced Barty, defending champion the last time Miami was held in 2019.
The match will be the first time the Canadian has faced a reigning No. 1.
“Her being No.1 and doing really, really well..” Andreescu said of her opponent. “Her game style is something I’ve never really experienced.
“I love a challenge, and I know she’s going to challenge me on Saturday, so it’s a mixture of everything.
“I know it’s going to be really tough. She’s playing great tennis, and I hope I can be on my A-game.”