It was a “carefree” fortnight having survived match point against Kristina Kucova in the second round. From there the Australian ousted major winners Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka, navigating past a trio of Top 10 talent in Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina and Andreescu.
The 24-year-old, the sixth woman to defend the Miami Open, appeared more and more comfortable with every bout, assembling cunning point construction and serving brilliantly (43 aces, building to a tour-leading 106 in 2021).
The 2019 Miami triumph propelled Barty to a majestic campaign, including a maiden major at Roland-Garros.
“Without a doubt, I'm excited for the clay season,” Barty told WTA Insider. “It's not always going to turn out every single time. Clay court tennis is brutal.
“I feel comfortable and trust that I know that I can play on clay, that I can trust my physicality, that I can trust my game.”