Kerber overpowers Barty to win Sydney title

Kerber overpowers Barty to win Sydney title

Ashleigh Barty overcame a slow start to win her all-Australian semi-final against Daria Gavrilova 3-6 6-4 6-2 and advance to the final of the Sydney International. She improved to 11-16 in career finals, winning her second title in Australia after the 2016 Australian Open.

"I am playing fantastic tennis again and feeling just great".

"It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's flawless preparation for next week", said Barty, the first Australian woman in a Sydney final since Alicia Molik defeated Sam Stosur in 2005.

Now it's happened, and it's not so easy, actually, to really get used to it-to wake up every morning and tell myself, "Okay, you really are now the no. 1 player in the world".

"I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash but I was able to play my game in important moments".

"I mean, after Zhuhai I was going back home, and I was just trying to take a lot of weeks off and just trying to forget the year, 2017. I think even though it may not be ideal at the moment, it's still good enough to win matches". She always made time for me. I know what to expect.

However, Kerber was able to punish Barty, breaking early on for a 3-2 lead, and was not tested in the first set again as she took it 6-4.

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'It feels very good to win my first title in my first tournament this year.

"I felt like it was a pretty good level, to be honest".

Barty, 21, reeled off straight sets wins against Veronica Cepede Royg, Ellen Perez and Barbora Strycova this week before rallying against her coffee buddy Gavrilova.

Barty had two break points on each of Kerber's first two service games and couldn't convert. The German will certainly be one to watch out for in Melbourne, where she won the title two years ago, as will Barty, who could face off against world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round.

A single break in the first set was enough for Kerber, who pulled clear from 3-3 in the second to win the trophy.

"Angie was probably one of the first girls that sort of welcomed me when I first came on to the tour when I was quite young. If she wasn't playing tennis, it wouldn't matter; our relationship would still be the same".

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