Kerber too strong for Barty in final

Nigel Owen  Action Plus  Getty Images

Nigel Owen Action Plus Getty Images

Two months on, Kerber had her revenge against Barty, and looks in as good a touch as she did when she claimed the 2016 Australian Open and became the world No.1 after claiming the Sydney International title.

If Barty hopes to secure her maiden Sydney International title, she will need her forehand to be in top condition, and she will also need to come up to the net to finish off points quickly against one of the best movers on the WTA tour.

"I am playing wonderful tennis again and feeling just great", Kerber said following the final.

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. I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash. "I feel like I am getting closer to my 2016 level".

Barty tipped Kerber to be one of the major contenders in Melbourne.

In a topsy-turvy match on Friday that included 11 breaks of serve, Barty needed just one in the third set to set up a final against Angelique Kerber or Camila Giorgi.

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A single break in the first set was enough for Kerber, who pulled clear from 3-3 in the second to win the trophy. A lot of tough players was playing here. "I think I will try to enjoy it, as well, but also going out, focusing on my game like I did it in the last few days, and just trying [to be] aggressive and trying to win another match here".

While Barty was disappointed, she paid tribute to Kerber, who had taken the 21-year-old under her wing at the start of her career.

"It was phenomenal, it really was, there's nothing better than playing in front of a crowd, especially when they're very much pro you", Barty said. "I think even though it may not be flawless at the moment, it's still good enough to win matches".

"We have set up a flawless platform for me to work with this year to try and go deep in tournaments, whether it's in Australia or in Europe or in the States". Angie is on fire.

Barty praised Kerber as a player who "makes you work so hard for each point". They now share a 1-1 head to head record against one another, with the Australian defeating Kerber in straight sets in China past year after losing to the German earlier in 2017 in Brisbane.

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