Ashleigh Barty survives big Miami Open scare, admitting: ‘Today was really hard work’

Ashleigh Barty had to dig incredibly deep to come through her Miami Opener after being forced to save a match point. 

The world number one was up against qualifier Kristina Kucova, and it all looked to be going well when she eased into the lead by winning the first set.

However, she then started to lose her way, and Kuvoca wrestled the initiative by taking the second set and forcing a decider.

Kuvoca, the world number 149, was up a break in the decider too, forcing Barty to defend match point at 3-5 down. Not only did the Australian manage that, but she then went on to win five games inn a row to claim a a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win.

“Never give up, never ever give up,” Barty said afterwards. “You’re always in there with a chance.

“Today was really hard work, and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

“There’s nothing like coming through a test like that, and now I get another opportunity in a couple days time to play another tough match, and test myself again.”

If Barty had lost the match you suspect she would have been especially frustrated given the difficulties she had in getting to Miami.

“It was a long [journey],” Barty said on Tuesday. “It was about 48 hours door-to-door.

“We had a flight cancellation leaving Australia, another flight cancellation when we got to L.A. It was quite a wriggle around.

“Tough playing tennis after travelling again. Quite a while since I’ve done that. I’m looking forward to feeling good in another day’s time.”

“I think we’re excited to have the opportunity to play the whole season. We’re looking at staying away the whole season.

“Touch wood, everything goes well with the rest of the world, where we’ll be travelling to and playing tournaments, we’ll be able to play safely and feel really comfortable.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing some of my best tennis again and giving myself a chance to play a few matches and really get stuck into the tournament.”

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