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Konta beats Wozniacki to claim Miami Open title

02 April 2017

Johanna Konta's rise to prominence took another step on Saturday as she secured the biggest title of her career to date by beating Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 at the Miami Open.

Wozniacki has been at this level many times before, the comparative experience level of the two players emphasising just how much of a relative newcomer Konta remains at this level.

For Wozniacki, the Dane's road to the title match has been much simpler, only dropping one set so far this entire tournament, In her first match, Wozniacki cruised past American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-2 before another comfortable victory over big-hitting Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

Konta deserves credit for knocking Wozniacki off her game.

The 25-year-old Konta received $1.18 million and will climb to a career-high No. 7 in the world rankings next week.

Konta will move to world number seven if she can beat Wozniacki at Key Biscayne and in the pair's only previous meeting - she beat the Dane 6-3, 6-1 in the third round of the Australian Open in January.

"You guys are incredible, not just today, throughout the whole week", she said. Past year was the first time she was ranked high enough to even play in Miami.

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But she is showing no room for sentiment as her gruelling 6-4 7-5 semi-final win was a third successive victory against the American.

"In terms of who I'm playing and what we're playing for, that's quite equal".

"Caroline's one of the best athletes on tour, so I know I am going to be running for a lot of balls", Konta said after Thursday's match.

In her two finals this year, both in February, Wozniacki was beaten by Pliskova at Doha and by Ukrainian Elina Svitolina at Dubai.

Strycova, a 31-year-old Czech, nearly walked away from the sport in February 2013 when she was banned after testing positive for the stimulant sibutramine, which she unknowingly ingested when taking a slimming aid.

World number 20 Strycova said: "I think it's not OK". They do not sound too glamorous but this is only one tier below the Grand Slams - the tournaments that it no longer seems fanciful to say she could win.

"I play smart tennis and calmer tennis I think". She ran a marathon for goodness sake.

Konta beats Wozniacki to claim Miami Open title