Barty endures delays, ousts Kontaveit to reach Miami final

Ashleigh Barty, of Australia, returns a volley to Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Ashleigh Barty is finally through to her first Miami Open final.

The 12th-seeded Australian endured three rain delays — one before the match, two more during play — to beat 21st-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday night.

Barty, who will rise to a career-best No. 9 in the world rankings next week, will face either second-seeded Simona Halep or fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in Saturday’s final.

Halep and Pliskova were scheduled to play later Thursday night. Halep would return to No. 1 in the world with a win in that semifinal.

The Barty-Kontaveit match was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. as the first match on the court built inside Hard Rock Stadium. They didn’t begin play until 2:08, and lasted six minutes before a rain delay stopped matters for more than two hours.

They resumed play at 4:27, finished one more game and went back to the locker room for two more hours because of more rain.

At 7:32 p.m., it ended. Kontaveit fended off one match point with a forehand drop shot, but was ousted by an ace on the following point.

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