MIAMI (AFP) ‒ World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty booked a return to the Miami Open final on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina.
Australia’s Barty, who won the most recent edition of the event in 2019, is trying to make her first successful defense of a WTA title.
The Australian, already assured of remaining atop the world rankings next week after the quarterfinal exit of Japan’s Naomi Osaka, will face either eighth-seeded Canadian Bianca Andreescu or Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the title match on Saturday.
Meantime, Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece was sent crashing out of the quarterfinals by Polish 26th seed Hubert Hurkacz as the upsets continued on Thursday.
A day after top seed Daniil Medvedev was bundled out of the tournament, Tsitsipas was sent packing 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 on the Hard Rock Stadium’s Grandstand Court in 2hr 20min.
It means that Russia’s fourth seed Andrey Rublev, who plays Sebastian Korda later Thursday for a place in the last four, is the highest seeded player left in the tournament.
Tsitsipas exited the tournament after a tense encounter that saw the 22-year-old Greek given a time violation after the second set for taking too long to change his shirt and headband.
The world number five was also reportedly involved in a tense exchange with officials before the match after refusing to share a golf cart with Hurkacz used to ferry players to the court.
There was no sign that incident had unsettled Tsitsipas early on, however, as he dominated a one-sided first set to win 6-2.
Tsitsipas then quickly broke Hurkacz at the start of the second on the way to a 2-0 lead.