Johanna Konta beats Caroline Wozniacki to claim Miami Open title

Johanna Konta
The victory will take Konta up to seventh in the world rankings – a career high

Johanna Konta took the biggest title of her career with victory over Caroline Wozniacki as she became the first British woman to win the Miami Open.

The 25-year-old British number one overpowered her Danish opponent – a former world number one – 6-4 6-3.

Konta, who in June 2015 was the world number 146, will climb to seventh from 11th in the rankings – her highest yet.

She also takes home £940,000 in prize money in claiming what was her third WTA Tour success from a fourth final.

Konta won her first WTA title in July 2016 at the Bank of the West Classic, was defeated in the China Open final in October 2016 and in January triumphed at the Sydney International without dropping a set.

But this was her first success at a higher level – the top ‘Premier Mandatory’ rung of the WTA Tour.

Having beaten beaten Wozniacki, 26, in their only previous meeting – in straight sets at the third round of this year’s Australian Open – Konta was pre-match favourite.

And she held her nerve with a strong all-round performance to edge her opponent in a tight match.

“Thank you so much to the crowd,” Konta said.

“You guys were incredible through the whole week. Miami is such an energetic city and you guys really bring that to the court.

Johanna Konta and Caroline Wozniacki
Wozniacki (right) had already lost two finals this year

“My whole team team – thank you so much, we’re having a great time working hard and I’m looking forward to continuing to do so.”

Wozniacki reached her career high ranking of world number one in October 2010, and victory in Miami would have been her first at this level since Indian Wells in 2011.

But instead she suffered a third final defeat of 2017 – following losses to Elina Svitolina in the Dubai Championships and to Karolina Pliskova in the Qatar Open.

“Jo, you played really well today,” Wozniacki said.

“You were the better player and deserved to win. I’m hoping third time lucky [against Konta]. We’ll play another time and I’ll try my best to win. I was hoping it would be third final lucky this year, but I’ll have to go for a fourth.”

Analysis

BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Only one other player has gathered more ranking points in 2017 than Johanna Konta, but more importantly the new world number seven has now successfully negotiated the perfect dress rehearsal for a Grand Slam.

Six victories over ten days against the very best in the world in one of the WTA’s Big Four tournaments is the perfect stepping stone to Grand Slam success.

Wimbledon should provide Konta with as good an opportunity as the Australian and US Opens – where she has already had so much joy – but now it is time for the clay: a surface on which Konta is still to prove herself.

Reaction – a Grand Slam to come?

Article Source: http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis