There's still a place on the WTA tour for variety, says Ash Barty upon winning the Miami title.
The 22-year-old Australian is the third straight player to win a Premier title by mixing speeds, spins and positions—Bianca Andreescu, 18, won Indian Wells, while fellow 22-year-old Belinda Bencic took the title at Dubai.
Barty says her playing style allows her to counter the power of big hitters, and more players are now doing it.
"I think I have always tried to bring as much variety onto the court as possible. Yeah, I felt, for me, it's always about sometimes trying to neutralize what your opponent's doing," she told press at Miami. "Obviously there was a bit of a phase in women's tennis where there was this big power and strikers that were getting on top of rallies early.
"But I think the physicality in tennis is, especially on the women's side, has grown, which has allowed more players to neutralize off that big first ball and work their way into the points."
There are also more high level players, bringing with them more different types of games. "I think a little bit the depth has improved across the board in women's tennis. The top 40 is much stronger than it was, you know, five or ten years ago, I believe. You know, anyone in the draw has a legitimate chance of winning the trophy," she said.
Her own climb has helped add to the increasing variety at the upper reaches of the game. Since she returned following a break from the game, Barty has won four titles and has just reached the top 10 in the rankings.
"I think, you know, when I can go and play my brand of tennis, that's when it becomes most exciting and most enjoyable for me. I'm being able to do that more and more often," she said.
The Miami title is the biggest of Barty's career, also lifting her to a career high ranking.