Sunday, 22 July, 2018
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Sydney International: Ashleigh Barty downs compatriot Daria Gavrilova to reach final

Daria Gavrilova playing a double-fisted backhand against Ashleigh Barty at the Sydney International Sydney International: Ashleigh Barty downs compatriot Daria Gavrilova to reach final
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 02:51

Meanwhile, Johanna Konta admitted she was facing "challenges" at the start of the season but insisted she would take the positives after injury and an early defeat cast a cloud over her Australian Open preparations.

Kerber, who began a year ago at the top of the rankings before finishing at No. 22, won her seventh straight match of 2018, including four singles at the Hopman Cup last week.

"This start is not bad for 2018, for sure".

Kerber, who began previous year as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovakia Dominika Cibulkova. "Sometimes I was thinking, 'OK, why am I missing serves?' Like I thought my ball toss was good, and I was driving with legs, but just the contact wasn't.it just felt like the ball was just getting away".

Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a return against Dominika Cibulková of Slovakia in their women's singles quarterfinals match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney on Thursday.

Kerber, who knocked out Venus Williams in her opening match in Sydney, said she was not yet back to her best form of 2016 when she won the Australian and US Opens.

"It's not something that I focus on, it's more about me playing matches the right way and doing the right things on and off the court to try and get the results, and to be able to have that No.1 ranking is a bonus. I have been doing a lot of work", said the 29-year-old.

"So now, I just am trying to playing like I played years before and enjoying it again".

"For us, it's ideal".

World No.1 Simona Halep could await in the round of 16, however Barty said she had learned from the home expectations usually placed for former US Open champion Samantha Stosur. Giorgi beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2.

The world No.25 won 68 per cent of points when she nailed her first serve, but continually left the gate open for Barty to pounce when required to send down a second.

Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev upset Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Sydney men's final.

Medvedev is eyeing off his first career title after toppling veteran Italian Paulo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-3.

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