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Kerber beats Barty to claim Sydney title

15 January, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Ashleigh Barty plays a forehand against Daria Gavrilova at the Sydney International

Angelique Kerber made the ideal start to 2018, winning the Sydney International after beating Ashleigh Barty in the final on Saturday. The former world No. 1 saw a career year in 2016, winning two Grand Slams, including one at the Australian Open.

Barty looked down and out after Daria Gavrilova took the first set 6-3 comfortably, but rebounded to win the next two 6-4 6-2.

"It was a hell of a week, ideal preparation for next week", Barty said.

Barty's serve was much improved too, hitting just one double fault from the nine she dished up in the Gavrilova match.

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It was Kerber's first title since the 2016 US Open and was the left-hander's second win over the 19th-ranked Barty in three meetings.

Gavrilova's frustration spilled over in the ninth game of the second set when, after coming back from 3-0 down to level at 4-4, she received a code violation for cracking her racquet. "To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of the better tennis that I have this week", Barty said. For me, it was nice to find the rhythm eventually but I would definitely like to see it a little bit earlier.

"Being now in the semis again here, it's really a good feeling, especially that I had the goal, to have a lot of matches before going to Melbourne".

Barty welcomed the pressure of entering the season's opening major as Australia's highest-ranked woman, having learned from the home expectations usually placed for 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur.

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Barty also looks to have set herself for a deep run at the Australian Open, after making the third round of the tournament previous year.

"We have set up a ideal platform for me to work with this year to try and go deep in tournaments, whether it's in Australia or in Europe or in the States".

Interviewed by Elle Magazine in co-operation with Rolex, Kerber spoke about her feelings about the on-court atmosphere in front of so many people.'I hear the crowd: It's tough to block it out completely.

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