Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty booked her place in the biggest final of her career at the Miami Open after brushing aside 21st-seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in straight sets in the rain-hit last-four clash of the tournament on Thursday.
The 22-year-old endured three rain delays before she eventually registered a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over Kontaveit in a one-sided semi-final of the women's singles event.
Barty was first forced to wait for an hour after rain delayed her clash with Kontaveit. The duo then played for only five minutes before the match was once again interrupted due to bad weather.
The Australian and her opponent Kontaveit returned to the court for one more game after nearly two-and-a-half-hour before heading back to the locker room for a third rain delay of almost two hours.
After eventually clinching the win and reaching the summit showdown of the tournament, Barty admitted that though she got a little bit frustrated by repeated rain delays, she was well aware that she had to shift her focus entirely on her game whenever she returned back to the court.
"Obviously the weather is something that we can't control, and a little bit frustrating that a couple of times we got on, it was a pretty quick shower straightaway. You just have to try and sit back and kind of make the most of the time you have off the court and know that once you do get back on you have to switch on straight away," the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) quoted Barty as saying.
Notably, Barty has already broken into the top 10 of the women's ranking for the first time after clinching a 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 win over third-placed Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open.
The Australian is now all set to face Czech player Karolina Pliskova, who eased past second-seed Simona Halep of Romania 7-5, 6-1 to reach final.
Extremely excited about the clash, Barty said that he is looking forward to go out there and perform at the best of her abilities.
"I think now we have another opportunity in a couple days' time to go out there and try and play a really good match. Obviously it's another chance at a title. Really excited to be in this position,"she signed off.