Konta beats Wozniacki in straight sets in Miami final

Johanna Konta is back in the winner's circle for the second time this season after a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Caroline Wozniacki to capture the 2017 Miami Open championship Saturday.

Pliskova, who began the year with a title at Brisbane, was philosophical about her second semi-final loss of the month.

The 25-year-old's success in Florida is her third Women's Tennis Association title, but her first Premier Mandatory class victory, the top level of competition of the tour.

Sharapova, a former world number one and five-time grand slam victor, was initially banned for two years after failing a doping test at last year's Australian Open before having the punishment reduced to 15 months on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Sydney-born player, who made it to the quarter-finals of the event past year on her debut, targeted Wozniacki's forehand to good effect, claiming yet another break in the first game of the second set.

Former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Barbora Strycova has become the latest player to criticise the allowances being made for Maria Sharapova on her return to tennis.

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The Briton still had the upper hand, though, but a fired up Wozniacki, who repeatedly gave determined looks to her box, pushed her repeatedly to advantage on her next service game before claiming a break which levelled the opening set up at 4-4.

The Brit is set to rise to a career-high ranking of No.7 following her third career WTA title; more impressively, she'll move up to No.2 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard in the hopes of making her debut at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Next up is clay which is not her best surface, by a country mile.

There is undoubtedly a chance to consolidate her position in the World Top 10, but more importantly, the double-headers in Indian Wells and Miami are like mini-Slams, with play every other day for the field, it is a decent dress rehearsal for the stamina and mental fortitude to conquer the Slams.

"The belief has been there since I was a little girl", she said.

World number 20 Strycova said: "I think it's not OK. I think you have to grow up in a lot of different areas for it to transfer on court as well". She ran a marathon for goodness sake. "I'm going to learn from the things that I can do better, but at the same time not beat myself up too much and just keep working and doing what I'm doing".

  • Regina Holmes