Thursday, 16 August, 2018


Kerber, Barty in Sydney final

Alex De Minaur is on a giant killing run Alex De Minaur is on a giant killing
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2018, 00:22

She is yet to drop a set over six matches in qualifying or the main draw and will next meet world number 22 Kerber who staged a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Dominika Cibulkova in the last eight.

Kerber eased to a 6-2, 6-3 triumph, reaching the Sydney final for the second time in her career having lost to Tsvetana Pironkova in 2014, and her first in any tournament since April a year ago.

Ashleigh Barty won the battle of the Australians against Daria Gavrilova in the semi-finals of the Sydney International to set-up a meeting with Angelique Kerber - a match where the trophy will be up for grabs.

Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, won all four singles at the Hopman Cup and now all four in Sydney en route to the final.

"I felt great yesterday; I felt like I played my best tennis probably all year".

"For me, it was about coming here and playing with freedom", she said after her latest success, the second in three matches she has achieved over her opponent.

"More than anything, I know what I can do and what I am capable of and how I can play".

Kerber and Barty have split their two previous meetings past year with the Australian winning in Zhuhai, China, and the German winning in three sets in Brisbane last week.

Her strong campaign is strong preparation for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne, where she opens against world No.69 Aryna Sabalenka.

"It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's ideal preparation for next week", Barty said.

"I never wished to be the third one, put it that way", she said of her spot in Australia's rankings pecking order.

In men's semifinals, Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev booked a spot in the final by upsetting fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. "Every match you win, you're glad to win it, no matter first round, second, so it goes step by step", Medvedev said. "Today it wasn't quite as good, but it was good enough to get the win".

Eighteen year old de Minaur continued his extraordinary run of results in the lead-up to the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.

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