Miami Open: Barty advances to fourth round after beating Ostapenko

Ash Barty kept Jelena Ostapenko on the move and on the defensive, pulling her in and moving her from side to side during their Miami Open third round encounter.

Defending champion Ash Barty had won the Miami Open in 2019 before the tournament was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic (File Photo).   -  Getty Images

Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty advanced to the fourth round at the Miami Open by beating Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday.

Barty had a much easier outing as compared to the previous round, when she saved a match point to beat qualifier Kristina Kucova. That was Barty's first match away from her native Australia since February 2020.

She kept Ostapenko on the move and on the defensive, pulling her in and moving her from side to side.

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Barty is the defending champion as the 2019 winner. The tournament was canceled last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her potential path to the final became easier when No. 3-seeded Simona Halep withdrew before her third-round match because of a right shoulder injury.

“I wanted to come here to give my best and play many matches, but unfortunately I can’t,” Halep said in a statement.

Halep earned her 400th career win with a comeback victory over Caroline Garcia in the second round. She had been scheduled to meet Anastasija Sevastova, who moved to the fourth round, next.