Kerber beats Barty to claim Sydney title

Kerber beats Barty to claim Sydney title

Angelique Kerber won her first title since the 2016 U.S. Open and extended her winning streak to nine matches with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday.

The German endured a tough campaign past year, but appears close to recapturing her best form, claiming a title to begin the season with a 6-4 6-4 win over Barty.

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, won four consecutive singles matches at the Hopman Cup, followed by five in Sydney.

"This start is not bad, for sure", Kerber said.

The German two-time grand slam champion, now ranked 22nd in the world after a disappointing 2017 campaign, registered her ninth win in as many matches this year with another clinical performance against the local favourite.

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

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"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".

Barty, ranked nineteenth, cruised past Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-2, while 25th-ranked Gavrilova had direct passage to the last four when Spain's Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza withdrew after her win over Kiki Bertens with a thigh injury.

Elsewhere, Elise Mertens defended her Hobart International title after a 6-1 4-6 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu. "It feels very good to win my first title in my first tournament this year".

Medvedev will next play Australian 18-year-old Alex de Minaur, who defeated Benoit Paire of France 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini set up a semi-final against qualifier Daniil Medvedev following a 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-4), 6-2 marathon against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

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