Canada's Bianca Andreescu makes a forehand return to Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Hamish Blair

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu injured in loss to Ash Barty in Miami Open final

MIAMI — Bianca Andreescu has another injury, ending her best tournament since capturing the U.S. Open title in September 2019.

The Canadian retired with a right ankle injury after falling behind 6-3, 4-0 against top-ranked Ash Barty of Australia in the final of the Miami Open on Saturday.

The eighth-seeded Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., tumbled to the court in the third game of the second set and struggled with her movement after the fall. She was wearing tape on the right ankle for the entire final of the WTA 1000 event – one level below a Grand Slam.

Andreescu called a medical timeout to receive treatment from the trainer after Barty finished the game with a break to go up 3-0.

She returned for one more game, but wasn’t moving well. Afterward, she put her hand to her face as she tried to hold back tears before going to the net to greet Barty and end the match.

The 20-year-old Andreescu returned from a 16-month layoff in February at the Australian Open, losing in the second round of the Grand Slam. She suffered a knee injury late in 2019 and opted not to try to make a comeback earlier in the pandemic in 2020.

The 20-year-old Canadian followed up her first tournament back by reaching the semifinals of an event in Melbourne for players eliminated early from the Australian Open, but a leg injury suffered there kept her out until Miami.

Andreescu will rise three spots to No. 6 in the world rankings next week.

After winning four three-set matches in a row to reach the final, Andreescu struggled to find any rhythm against Barty in their first career meeting.

Andreescu has exited early in both appearances in Miami with injuries – her only two losses in North America since the start of 2015.

Barty, the 2019 French Open champ, won her 10th career title and earned US$300,110 of the $3.26-million total purse. Andreescu pocketed $165,000.

Barty overpowered Andreescu early to jump in front 3-0 before the Canadian found some rhythm and broke back to cut the deficit to 3-2.

But on Andreescu’s next service game, the Australian responded. Two winners after Andreescu fought off two break points put Barty up 4-2 for the decisive break. The world No. 1 then won every point on the ensuing serve game to take charge of the first set.

Andreescu is scheduled to take most of April off. Before the match, her agent, Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy, said Andreescu is scheduled to return for WTA 1000 clay-court events in Madrid (April 29-May 8) and Rome (May 10-16) before playing in the French Open (May 23-June 5).

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