Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty

Barty ends nine-year Aussie drought

Ash Barty has broken through for her first WTA win in Australia, perfect timing ahead of her Australian Open assault.

The 23-year-old World No. 1 made the past two Sydney International finals but lost to Angelique Kerber in the 2018 tournament and Petra Kvitova last year.

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But Barty has grown a hard edge with her back against the wall and after hard fought week in Adelaide, she showed why she's the world's best with a brilliant performance against World No. 24 Ukranian Dayana Yastremska, winning 6-2 7-5.

All looked to be going smoothly for the Queenslander, winning the first set in 30 minutes, but the 19-year-old Yastremska have a perfect example of why she has risen through the rankings.

Despite losing a break early in the second set, Yastremska fought back to return it to serve.

But she ran out of steam, broken in the 11th game of the set with Barty serving out her eighth WTA title.

For Barty, it's the perfect start to her Australian campaign after her hiccup in Brisbane, where she was ousted in the first round.

Her victory in Adelaide is the first by an Australian woman in Australia since Jarmila Wolfe's Hobart International win in 2011.

What a win for Ash Barty!
What a win for Ash Barty!

Barty, who won four of six finals in 2019 in an incredible year, was asked whether she was getting used to winning tournament and answered it in a typically humble way.

"Absolutely not, this is incredible," she said on court. "It's been an absilute pleasure playing here in Adelaide, it's been a beautiful tournament. Congratulations to Dayana and your team, it's been amazing. It's a great start to the year and I'm sure we'll have many more matches in the future.

"I definitely feel the love out here. I love playing in Australia and it's been incredible for my team and I to enjoy this week. We had out pre-season, did all the work and it's been all about coming out here and enjoying the competition and you guys have made it fun for me and enjoyable for me."

It's now her best start to the Aussie summer and hopefully puts Barty in good stead for an assault on the Australian Open, as she looks to end a 42-year wait for a local winner.

 

 

 

 

Barty came into the match looking to go one better than her previous two years where she fell agonisingly short of the breakthrough title.

"Hopefully it's third time lucky at home for me," Barty said after her semi-final win over Danielle Collins. "All I can do is keep trying to put myself in this position.

"The last two years (in Sydney) I have been close - and agonisingly close last year.

"All I have to do is go out there and try and do the best that I can. "And if it ends with a title, great. And if it doesn't, it's not really going to change my mood too much going into the rest of the year and particularly the next few weeks."