Angelique Kerber Beats Ashleigh Barty To Win Sydney International

Sam Stosur happy to fly under the radar

Kerber, who began previous year 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.

Kerber won her four matches at last week's mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her five victories in Sydney.

Angelique Kerber continued her return to form by clinching her first title of the season on Saturday, beating Ashleigh Barty in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 at the Sydney International.

Kerber will play Camila Giorgi in the semifinals.

It is her 11th career WTA title and positions her as one of the favourites for the Australian Open.

Nevertheless, her appearance in the tournament decider will lift the 21-year-old Queenslander's world ranking to No.17 as she embarks on a home slam campaign flush with expectation.

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After some tight early service games, Barty double-faulted to hand Kerber the first break and a 3-2 lead, and the German served out the opening set with little trouble. "To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of the better tennis that I have this week", Barty said.

The German took that energy in the second set, breaking Barty in the very first game.

The highest-ranked female Australian had a chance to equal the scores a game later, although her world no.22 opponent held serve to claim the ATP trophy.

"And Angie is on fire".

She becomes the first Australian to reach the final since 2005, when countrywomen Alicia Molik and Samantha Stosur contested the showpiece.

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