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Sydney International: Angelique Kerber proves too good for Ashleigh Barty in finals

14 January 2018, 12:48 | Pamela Mathis

Kerber wins Sydney title in perfect start to 2018

Kerber wins Sydney title in perfect start to 2018

Angelique Kerber made the flawless start to 2018, winning the Sydney International after beating Ashleigh Barty in the final on Saturday. "I think even though it may not be flawless at the moment, it's still good enough to win matches".

Now ranked outside the world's top 20, Kerber's form so far suggests that she has what it takes to reclaim her former mantle as the best player on the WTA tour.

"Every match will be tough, but first of all, I will just be enjoying today, the title, and then from tomorrow I will be thinking about Melbourne". After spurning a match point on the Buzarnescu serve, she served out for a second career WTA crown.

But Kerber, now ranked 22nd in the world after a disappointing 2017 campaign, proved too strong for Giorgi despite the Italian racing to a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Barty said she would be ready for her Australian Open first round opponent Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Barty though does have what it takes to defeat Kerber.

She had already beaten Olivia Rogowska in the first round and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the second and advanced to the semi-finals after Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza withdrew with a hip injury.

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"What she's achieved in her career, the accolades she's had, you can't do anything but respect her".

Having come into the tournament unseeded, the German saved match points against Lucie Safarova in her first round match, and she did not drop a set in her last three matches against Cibulkova, Camila Giorgi and Barty.

"I think there is that mutual respect, which is awesome to get respect from such a champion like Angie".

Potentially awaiting in the fourth round is world No. 1 Simona Halep. Regardless whether you're No.1, No.10, or 100 in the world, it's the best feeling for an Australian to be playing at the Australian Open.

Should Kerber and Sharapova both win their opening two matches, they will square off in a mouth-watering third-round clash made all the more spicy by recent tension between the pair. "I am really looking forward to the rest of the year", Kerber said in a court-side interview after claiming a first title since her U.S. Open triumph.

When asked her opinion on Sharapova returning to the Australian Open earlier this week, Kerber was only willing to offer: "She's back and she played not bad in the last few weeks".



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