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Ashleigh Barty makes final eight at Miami

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25th March, 2019
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Ashleigh Barty has fought back from a set down against Kiki Bertens to book her place in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open.

The Australian No.1 lost the first set 6-4 against her seventh-seeded opponent, but dug deep to draw level by taking the second 6-3.

The world No.11, who knocked out compatriot Samantha Stosur in the previous round, continued her dominance in the decider, the 12th seed serving it out 6-2 in one hour and 53 minutes.

Barty now holds a 4-0 record over Dutchwoman Bertens, with three of those career wins coming from a set down – the most recent before Monday’s win coming in the semi-finals of this year’s Sydney International.

“Whenever I play Kiki, there’s really not much in the match at all,” Barty said.

“For a span of six or seven games there she maybe gave me one or two errors – she really went into lockdown mode.

“I did well to squeeze out of my service game at 2-2 in the second, had a little wriggle there and went into lockdown mode myself.”

Barty also told reporters that new performance coach Ben Crowe has helped improve her game, adding: “He’s made an astronomical difference.

“We’ve created a really tightly knit group: we trust each other, we bounce ideas off each other and ultimately we try to get the best out of each other.”

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Barty will face third-seeded Petra Kvitova in the last eight, with the added carrot of breaking into the top 10 for the first time if she makes the semi-finals.

Czech world No.2 Kvitova later claimed a commanding 6-3 6-3 victory over France’s Caroline Garcia but only after a rain delay of over two hours while leading 5-2 in the second set.

Kvitova, who can regain No.1 status if she lifts the Miami title, said: “I’m glad I was able to finish the match.

“You never know what it’s going to be like when you come back from a rain delay. I tried to be focused but it was difficult.”

© AAP