Emma Raducanu has hit back "unfair" criticism over her mounting sponsorship deals following her early exit from the Miami Open.

The US Open champion was beaten by Katerina Siniakova in her first match in Miami this week after being given a bye into the second round.

Raducanu has only won four WTA Tour matches since she was sensationally crowned champion at Flushing Meadows as a qualifier in New York last September.

The 19-year-old has been in demand off the court and last week revealed she will be a brand ambassador for Porsche.

Briton Raducanu insists she is still driving high standards in training as she strives to build on her maiden grand slam triumph.

"Maybe you just see, on the news or on social media, me signing this or that deal and I feel like it’s quite misleading because I’m doing five, six hours a day [in training], I’m at the club for 12 hours a day," the 19-year-old told reporters.

"But I throw out one post in the car on the way to practice and all of a sudden it’s 'I don't focus on tennis'. I think that it is unfair, but it's something I have learned to deal with and become a bit more insensitive to the outside noise.

"At the end of the day, I feel like my days [with sponsors] are pretty limited. I'm not doing crazy days. I'm doing three, four days every quarter, so it's really not that much."

New world number one Iga Swiatek says taking the top rank is a "dream come true" and something she never strongly believed could happen.

Swiatek made history as the first Polish tennis player to reach the top ranking, taking over the mantle following Ashleigh Barty's shock decision to retire from the sport in midweek. She will officially become number one when the WTA rankings are updated on April 4.

The 20-year-old Pole, who won the 2020 French Open and made this year's Australian Open semi-finals, made the ascent to the summit after beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-0 at the Miami Open on Friday.

"It's a dream come true, for sure," Swiatek told reporters. "It's that kind of thing that I wanted to happen someday, but I didn't really know that it's going to be possible for me.

"I never really imagined that moment, because truth to be told, I was working day by day and I was playing tennis well, but I never had that like that strong belief that it can actually happen, so it's even more surreal for me."

Swiatek has claimed WTA 1000 titles at Indian Wells and Doha this year, with her victory over Golubic extending her winning run to 12 matches.

She is the 28th woman to reach the summit in the WTA rankings, becoming the youngest player at the top since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010.

"I think it's going to be a bit different and maybe the hype is going to be a bit bigger, but I'm ready for that," she said.

"Honestly, it's like part of the job, so I always knew if I'm going to succeed, it's going to be there. I really appreciate people being really enthusiastic and really pumped up because I think sometimes I'm even playing for them."

Barty was quick to congratulate Swiatek on claiming the number one ranking, saying there is "no better person" than the Pole.

"There is no better person," Barty said in a message. "The way that she's brought this fresh, fearless energy onto the court has been incredible.

"I hope she can take it and still be her, do it her own way, and really chase what she's after in her career and her dreams."

Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek has risen to world number one in the wake of Ashleigh Barty's retirement with a 6-2 6-0 win over Viktorija Golubic at the WTA Miami Open on Friday, sealing her ascent.

Swiatek, who won recent WTA 1000 events this year at Indian Wells and Doha, cruised to victory in one hour and 14 minutes over the Swiss.

The 20-year-old Pole, who won the French Open in 2020 and reached this year's Australian Open semi-finals, will officially become the top-ranked player when the rankings are updated on Monday April 4.

Barty's name will be removed from the rankings at her request having announced her shock retirement earlier this week at the age of 25, despite winning this year's Australian Open and last year's Wimbledon titles.

Swiatek is the 28th woman to reach the summit in the WTA rankings, becoming the youngest player at the top since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010. She will become Poland's first-ever number one in tennis history.

The Pole extended her winning streak to 12 matches against Golubic, taking her to a tour-high 21 wins this year, in a match where she saved eight of nine break points and took six of the nine she generated.

Swiatek's main immediate competition for the top rank was fifth seed Paula Badosa who got past Marie Bouzkova 7-5 7-5 in two hours and three minutes.

Badosa, who got the edge by grinding out games under pressure, will face Yulia Putintseva in the third round after she won 6-3 4-6 7-5 over Lesia Tsurenko.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was bundled out of contention following a shock 4-6 6-1 6-2 loss to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Two-time major winner Petra Kvitova needed three sets to get past Clara Burel, winning 6-1 3-6 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes.

Jessica Pegula beat Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4, Cori Gauff got past Qiang Wang 7-5 6-4 and 20th seed Elise Mertens went down 7-5 2-6 6-1 to Linda Fruhvirtova.

Naomi Osaka is through to the third round of the Miami Open after beating former world number one Angelique Kerber in straight sets.

Osaka won the first three games of the match to jump out to an early lead, securing the set with a double-break before breaking early in the second to cruise to a 6-2 6-3 win.

The story of the match was Osaka's ease in winning points against Kerber's serve, winning 41 per cent (15/37) of Kerber's successful first serves, while the German could only win 11 per cent (3/27) in the same category.

Britain's top-ranked woman Emma Raducanu suffered another early exit, on the wrong end of Katerina Siniakova's comeback 3-6 6-4 7-5 win.

Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Miami Open after aggravating a thigh injury.

Former world number one Halep was due to face Australia's Daria Saville in the round of 64 on Thursday but felt unable to contest the match.

Halep said she sustained a thigh injury during her Indian Wells semi-final defeat to Iga Swiatek the previous week and it caused her discomfort again while training on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old two-time major winner expects to sit out the Charleston Open and will miss the start of the Billie Jean King Cup.

In a tweet posted on her official Twitter account, Halep wrote: "While I was practising in Miami yesterday I felt a sharp pain in my left leg.

"I had been struggling with the thigh since my semi-final in Indian Wells and hoped it would improve, but I went for an MRI last night and unfortunately it showed a tear.

"My body needs time to heal and as a result I will be out of competition for three weeks. This means I have had to make the super tough decision to pull out of Miami, Charleston and Fed Cup [Billie Jean King Cup].

"While it feels like really disappointing news to share, I am keeping the confidence from my great start to the year and am motivated to do everything to be ready for the clay-court season.

"Thanks for your continued support through the highs and lows."

Lucky loser Harmony Tan will take Halep's place in the draw.

 

Ash Barty has not ruled out a return to professional tennis, saying "never say never" when asked if she could make a comeback in years to come.

The three-time grand slam winner announced her surprise retirement from the sport on Wednesday, less than two months after her home victory at the Australian Open.

At just 25, Barty is stepping away from the court at the peak of her career, and has teased the idea she could step into another sport entirely.

But speaking on Thursday, the reigning Wimbledon champion did not discount the possibility of returning to tennis down the line.

"You never say never," she said. "But it's a long way off at this stage."

Barty previously played cricket during a sabbatical between 2014 and 2016, and has been linked with a switch to golf in recent years too.

She shut down such suggestions as an immediate option, adding: "[I've] got to try and learn how to hit the middle of the club face before I can think of trying to get on the tour."

Elsewhere, Barty admitted that she would miss the competition of the WTA circuit, while praising fellow Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal for his staying power in the sport.

"I love the competition," she said. "That's what has driven me the most in my career, is that one-on-one competition and the thrill of the fight. I know that I'll miss it 100 per cent.

"But I'll be able to get the adrenaline in different ways. Those ways will remain to be seen. But I know that I've been so fortunate to have so many incredible moments on the court."

Unlike Nadal, Barty is bowing out of tennis early, and she respects the way the 35-year-old Spaniard, who also triumphed at Melbourne Park this year, has been able to stay at the top for the best part of two decades.

She said: "It's been an incredible career. His longevity in the sport has been undeniable. He's been amazing for the sport of tennis. For me as a fan to see him do that over such an extended period has been a pleasure."

Ash Barty insisted she would "never stop loving" tennis as the three-time grand slam winner kept everyone guessing about her next steps in life.

The 25-year-old announced a shock retirement on Wednesday, less than two months after triumphing at the Australian Open.

Barty hinted she would look to find a new role in sport, possibly in a playing capacity, and said she and boyfriend Garry Kissick had set a wedding date, but left it at that.

Speaking at a news conference in Brisbane, Barty said she had intended to reveal her retirement after playing for Australia in a Billie Jean Cup qualifying match in April.

However, reigning champions Russian Tennis Federation were recently excluded, due to the war in Ukraine, which meant the event was restructured and Australia did not need to play a qualifying tie. Barty consequently brought her announcement forward.

She said she had "given absolutely everything I could to this sport", and confirmed she has asked the WTA to remove her name from the world rankings the next time they are published.

Barty has retired as the world number one, with Iga Swiatek in pole position to succeed her. Results at the Miami Open, getting under way this week, will determine who tops the list when it is released on April 4.

"It's going to be an exciting time for the WTA Tour with the new number one," she said. "It will be a really cool period for them now."

Australian Barty, who is also the reigning Wimbledon champion, said of her career: "It's been a hell of a journey. I wouldn't change a thing and I certainly have no regrets."

She said winning the Australian Open in January had been "a brilliant way to finish", adding: "I'm excited for what's next, for my next chapter as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete."

Appearing alongside coach Craig Tyzzer, Barty said she had been practising on court even in the last fortnight.

"I hit as recently as 10 days ago," she said. "I'll forever be connected to tennis. I'll never stop loving the sport, I'll never stop hitting tennis balls. I just won't be doing it selfishly to progress my career, it'll be for different reasons."

Barty has played cricket at a high level before and is a keen golfer.

So could she look for a career in a sport other than tennis?

"I've seen some brilliant Photoshops as a jockey, lawn bowls," she said. "I love sport. I'm a sport nut, like a lot of Australians are; I'll be glued to it.

"I've always been an athlete in a sense of trying different things. But we will see how we go."

She is eager to share her tennis knowledge with youngsters in a coaching capacity, and appears to be relishing a quiet life away from the hustle of being a globe-trotting sports star.

Asked about her plans to marry Kissick, a trainee club golf professional, Barty said plans were in place, adding: "You have to wait and see."

US Open champion Emma Raducanu is not planning on replicating Ash Barty after the world number one retired at the age of 25.

Barty announced her retirement on Wednesday less than two months after winning the Australian Open, saying she has accomplished all she set out to in the sport.

There has since been an outpouring of respect and admiration for Barty, with the prevailing sentiment being that it is a great loss for tennis.

Raducanu burst onto the scene last year with a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon that was followed by a remarkable triumph at Flushing Meadows, making history at the age of 18 in becoming the first player to win a grand slam as a qualifier in the Open Era, doing so without dropping a set.

And she is planning on staying on the WTA Tour for many years to come.

"For me, I want to be in the game as long as possible," Raducanu said.

"I'm only 19. I've just come on tour, which is pretty young.

"I want to be in the game till I'm in my 30s. We'll see what happens and how long I can last, to be honest."

Reflecting on Barty's career, one in which she took a break from the sport in 2014, briefly playing professional cricket, before returning in 2016, Raducanu added: "If you get oversaturated with one thing, it's not healthy with anything you do.

"I feel like that just shows, if you take time off, you come back, you're hungry, you're ready. 

Two of the top-ranked players on the WTA tour have spoken about world number one Ash Barty's shock retirement, with Danielle Collins calling it "badass".

Barty announced she had retired through a post on her Instagram account, where she had a sit-down interview with former Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua about her decision to walk away.

In her interview, Barty discussed accomplishing the goals she set out for herself in her tennis career, capped off with wins at Wimbledon and this year's Australian Open, as well as having other dreams she would like to work towards.

Barty, 25, has played professional cricket in Australia's Big Bash League, and has been linked with her beloved Richmond Tigers if she were to try her hand at Australian Rules football.

She is also recently married, and has discussed her desire to start a family.

Collins, currently the world number 11, spoke about how incredible it is that Barty is able to walk away at such a young age, with so many accomplishments under her belt.

"I am a little bit surprised because I think at 25 and being at the top of her game and in achieving everything that she's achieved and being so young she would certainly continue to achieve what she's been achieving," Collins said.

"But I think it really speaks to the way that our game empowers women, because how many other professions would you be able to retire at 25? 

"I mean, this is incredible, it's so badass, and I really have a lot of respect for Ash making the decision to do what's best for her, and to live out her life on her terms. It's really special."

Rising star and world number two Iga Swiatek also weighed in, saying her first reaction was an outpouring of emotion about what a loss it was for the game of tennis.

"Well, I mean, it is so fresh and it's so sudden that it is something that I need to digest," the 20-year-old said.

"I cried for like 30 minutes, actually, when she posted that video and that interview. 

"It's very hard to describe it because on one hand… if you know Ash, it's not a surprise at all, because she's like that kind of person who's looking for challenges also in other aspects of life. 

"I mean, you can see that she's pretty confident with her decision. But on the other hand, it's new for me to see athletes retiring so early. 

"I'm pretty new on tour and I feel like I wanted to play more matches against Ash, and also compete against her and have a chance to actually understand how she plays and how she uses the different skills that she has. 

"I mean, for me, I feel kind of sad that I'm not going to be able to do that because I think it would be a great rivalry. And also, she's a great person to look up to and to kind of chase. 

"But I'm also happy for her, and I think she's really brave that she made that decision because there would be many people who, I don't know, kind of stay in this place because you were first in the world. 

"But if you're not feeling happy with what you're doing or if you're feeling satisfied as she did after winning the Australian Open, then it's your own decision. And I think she's pretty brave that she made that decision."

Ash Barty stunned the sporting world on Wednesday by announcing her retirement from tennis, bowing out as the top-ranked player in the women's game.

The popular 25-year-old has not featured since winning her home grand slam at the Australian Open in January, becoming the first female Aussie singles champion of the tournament since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

Announcing the news on her Instagram page, Barty cited achieving a lifelong goal of winning Wimbledon last year as a primary factor behind her decision as well as being "spent physically".

But Barty is by no means the first sporting hero to retire at the top of their game. Below we take a look at some other examples of those who have exited as champions.

ALAIN PROST

The 1993 Formula One season was largely dominated by one man – Williams driver Alain Prost. The Frenchman had to battle hard with the iconic Ayrton Senna at the start of the campaign, with them each taking three wins from the first six races of the season. However, a run of four straight victories for Prost were followed by a string of retirements for Senna, ensuring a fourth world title that provided the ideal ending to a glittering career.

ALEX FERGUSON

One of the most successful managers in world football, Alex Ferguson began a 27-year stint at Manchester United after an excellent spell at Aberdeen. The Scot won 28 major trophies at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues. His final trophy came with top-flight glory in 2012-13, and 17 days later he brought the curtain down.

PEYTON MANNING

Considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning won his first Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 and, after an injury-blighted season that raised doubts about his ability aged 39, he added a second with the Denver Broncos in 2016, bowing out on the ultimate high.

RICHIE MCCAW, DAN CARTER

New Zealand became the first nation to successfully defend the Rugby World Cup trophy by beating Australia 34-17 in the final at Twickenham in 2015, adding to their success on home soil four years prior. It proved the end of the line for captain Richie McCaw, who was at the time the most capped player in rugby union with 148 appearances for the All Blacks, as well as mercurial fly-half Dan Carter. Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Kevin Mealamu were also among an influential contingent that opted to end their international careers.

PETE SAMPRAS

In defeating Andre Agassi in the final of the 2002 US Open, the same opponent he overcame to win his first grand slam 12 years prior, Pete Sampras secured his place among the greats in men's tennis. It was a then-record 14th major singles title for a male player for the American, a milestone that has since been surpassed by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but he did not compete again and announced his retirement almost one year later.

PHILIPP LAHM, MIROSLAV KLOSE

At 31 you still have a number of years ahead of you in football. However, after lifting the World Cup trophy with Germany in 2014, Philipp Lahm decided to call time on his international career and focus on club football with Bayern Munich. The versatile full-back made 113 appearances for his country and was joined by fellow centurions Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose – whose tally of 71 international strikes is a German record – in switching focus to domestic matters.

MARION BARTOLI

A first grand slam at Wimbledon in 2013 appeared to be the breakthrough moment for a 28-year-old Marion Bartoli, but reality proved very different. The Frenchwoman defeated Sabine Lisicki – who had overcome pre-tournament favourites Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska – in the All England Club final, but announced her retirement during the Western and Southern Open just 40 days later due to persistent injuries. She attempted a comeback in 2018 but continued setbacks and injuries curtailed those plans.

NICO ROSBERG

Nico Rosberg had engaged in several intense battles with Lewis Hamilton before finally getting the better of his Mercedes team-mate to become Formula One world champion in the 2016 season. Still only 31, Rosberg had potentially several more years in F1 but the German instead opted to depart having reached the pinnacle of his sport.

Iga Swiatek claimed back-to-back WTA 1000 titles as she captured the Indian Wells Open crown after defeating Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1.

Winning her 11th successive match, the Pole added to her triumph in Doha last month after prevailing in one hour and 20 minutes.

Swiatek subsequently climbed to a career-high second in the WTA rankings; making her the first Polish player to do so since Agnieszka Radwanska in July 2012.

The 20-year-old also claimed her fifth career title; becoming only the fifth woman to reach that tally before her 21st birthday after Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

"After playing so well in previous tournaments, I didn’t know it was possible for me to play that well for that long," said the former French Open champion, who claimed her second successive win over Sakkari having also prevailed in the Qatar Open semi-finals.

"I want to congratulate Maria. Every match against her is a great battle. I know that we've already started a cool rivalry. 

"I think it's going to last for 10 more years, so it's going to be exciting, and I’m sure we're going to play many more finals.

"I want to thank my team; they're doing an amazing job calming me down and getting me to the place where I'm more confident and developing my tennis."

The two finalists struggled to settle during the opening set; both hitting five double-faults as six of the first seven games went against the serve.

But 12 unforced errors to her opponent's seven proved crucial for Sakkari, who had only been broken seven times in her five previous matches, as third seed Swiatek drew first blood after 45 minutes.

Losing only her second set of the week, sixth seed Sakkari had been beaten on all three occasions in 2022 when losing the opener.

Meanwhile, Swiatek had not dropped a set since her fourth-round victory over Angelique Kerber, and built on that momentum as she dominated the second.

The former Roland Garros champion broke her opponent twice more, as she only required an additional 35 minutes to wrap up victory; a sweeping forehand sealing the deal.

Iga Swiatek defeated Simona Halep 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 at the Indian Wells Open on Friday, progressing to the final and extending her winning streak to 10.

The Polish world number four came back from a break down in each set - as well as saving two set points in the first-set tiebreak - to level her head-to-head record with Halep at 2-2.

After taking out the WTA 1000 tournament in Doha last month, Swiatek has not had it all her way this week in California. Aside from a 6-1 6-0 trouncing of Madison Keys, the 20-year-old had to fight from a set down in her opening three matches.

Following a tight first set, Halep won three games in a row to take a 4-2 lead, but it was here Swiatek started to open up on return of serve.

She was ultimately able to capitalise on Halep's second serve, winning 14 of a total 21 points when given a second look, to earn five service breaks for the match.

Swiatek is now at least guaranteed to reach a career-high world number three ranking with, and a win in the final would move her to number two, only behind Ashleigh Barty.

She will meet Maria Sakkari in the final on Sunday, who broke down in tears after her hectic 6-2 4-6 6-1 win over Paula Badosa in the late match.

Despite Badosa having a higher first-serve rate than her opponent in the first set at 53.9 per cent, Sakkari was all over the second serve, winning nine out of a total 12 points.

After powering through the first set with flat hitting, the Greek world number six lost momentum in the second and forced play with rushed shot selection after getting broken early.

She still managed one of the shots of the match in trying to save that break of serve, scrambling across court to hit an underarm pass down the line.

Badosa kept her composure on serve to take the second set, winning 21 out of 29 points at an improved 72.9 per cent. Sakkari regrouped and exhibited her unique court coverage, however, taking the win after getting an early break.

Sakkari immediately broke down in tears afterwards, upon making her first WTA 1000 final and defeating the defending champion at Indian Wells.

The Grand Slam Board has announced that first-to-10 tie-breaks will conclude the final sets of all four majors with immediate effect.

Starting with May's French Open, the decision is being adopted on a trial basis with the aim of providing "greater consistency" to the rules when matches go the distance.

Prior to Wednesday's announcement, the French Open, Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon each had their own rules when games went to a deciding tie-break.

The Australian Open is the only grand slam to already employ the first-to-10 rule at 6-6.

Wimbledon previously played first-to-seven at 12-12, while the US Open played a first-to-seven at 6-6.

There has not previously been a deciding tie-break at Roland-Garros, with all matches continuing until a player secured a two-game lead in the decider.

A statement released on behalf of Grand Slam Board members Jayne Hrdlicka, Gilles Moretton, Ian Hewitt and Mike McNulty confirmed the changes.

It read: "The Grand Slam Board's decision is based on a strong desire to create greater consistency in the rules of the game at the Grand Slams, and thus enhance the experience for the players and fans alike.

"This trial, which has been approved by the rules of the tennis committee governed by the ITF, will apply to all Grand Slams across qualifying, men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles, wheelchair and junior events in singles, and will commence at the 2022 edition of Roland-Garros."

The rule change will be reviewed after a full Grand Slam year and will remain in place should it be deemed a success.

The tweaks to the current format will ensure no repeat of John Isner's marathon battle with Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, which the American edged 70-68 in the final set of their first-round match.

Paula Badosa went a step closer to defending her Indian Wells Open title as she ended Leylah Fernandez's run to reach the quarter-finals.

Badosa was calm under pressure against last year's US Open runner-up, saving five out of the six breakpoints she offered up in a 6-4 6-4 success.

Matters were less routine for third seed Iga Swiatek, who held her nerve to come back from a set down against three-time major champion Angelique Kerber.

Breakpoints were contested in six of the match's first eight games and Kerber made the big points count, but Swiatek went on to triumph 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Swiatek, 20, showed grit beyond her years as she broke Kerber's serve four times in the second set, cleaning up her first-serve percentage while the German was only able to win 31 per cent of her successful first-serves (4-13).

Both women hit over 70 per cent of their first-serves in the final set, with the difference coming down to the return game, where Swiatek won half of her return points (12-24), with Kerber struggling (5-22).

Swiatek will face American Madison Keys, who defeated Harriet Dart in a brisk 69 minutes, while Badosa goes up against Veronika Kudermetova, who overcame Naomi Osaka in contentious circumstances earlier in the tournament.

WTA chairman Steve Simon declared Russian tennis players must not be penalised for their country's "authoritarian leadership" amid concerns they could be frozen out of top tournaments.

The ATP and WTA tours decided Russian and Belarusian players should not be allowed to represent those nations while the crisis in Ukraine continues, with stars such as Daniil Medvedev currently playing under a neutral flag.

The respective tennis tours have also cancelled plans to visit Russia in the near future.

United Kingdom sports minister Nigel Huddleston suggested on Tuesday that US Open champion Medvedev and fellow Russians could be blocked from playing at Wimbledon unless they make a stand against president Vladimir Putin.

But WTA head Simon insisted Russian and Belarusian tennis players should be able to continue featuring on the tour, despite a number of other sports banning such athletes.

"I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating on our tour as the result of political positions their leadership may take," Simon told BBC Sport.

"So it would take something very, very significant for that to change, but again we don't know where this is going."

If national governments impose preventive measures on Russian and Belarusian stars, Simon acknowledged there is little he can do to combat such rulings.

"I feel very, very strongly that again these individual athletes should not be the ones that are being penalised by the decisions of an authoritarian leadership that is obviously doing terrible, reprehensible things," Simon said.

"We are hopeful that they will refrain from that because I think there are an awful lot of other issues that go with it. I'm hoping that we continue with the sanctions, we continue doing everything we can to get peace, but again these people are the innocent victims of that, and being isolated as a result of these decisions I don't think it's fair."

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