MIAMI: World No.1 Ash Barty extended her winning streak at the Miami Open to eight matches, setting up a round of 16 showdown with Victoria Azarenka on Saturday. Australian ace Barty kept Jelena Ostapenko on the move and on the defensive during their third-round encounter, pulling the Latvian in and moving her from side to side in the 6-3 6-2 win. Barty responded to dropping serve for the only time on Saturday by reeling off the last six games of the match from 0-2 down in the second set. She had a much easier time than in the previous round, when she saved a match point to beat qualifier Kristina Kucova, in her first match away from Australia since February 2020. “Today felt like I was a lot sharper and switched on and ready to go from the very first point,” Barty said afterwards. “The goal today was to try to bring the tennis back to my kind of tempo and my kind of rhythm as often as possible and as quickly as possible in points.” Barty is the defending champion at the Miami Open, which was cancelled last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. She will next face three-time Miami winner Victoria Azarenka, the 14th seed accounting for Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-2. The match was Azarenka’s first this week after a bye and walkover. The former world No.1 won the title in Miami in 2009, 2011 and 2016. While Azarenka poses a formidable opponent, Barty’s path to the final became easier when world No.3 Simona Halep withdrew before her round three match because of a right shoulder injury. The reigning Wimbledon champion said she began to feel pain after practice sessions at her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open last month. While Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina and seventh-seeded Aryna Sabalenka were pushed hard in their victories, French Open champion Iga Swiatek was eliminated 6-4 2-6 6-2 by wildcard Ana Konjuh. Croatian Konjuh’s career has been slowed by four elbow surgeries and this week she has earned her first three wins in main-draw WTA play since 2018.