Australia's top-ranked female Ashleigh Barty has fallen short of winning a first title on home soil, losing the Sydney International final to resurgent former world No.1 Angelique Kerber. She will definitely be among the ones to watch at the Australian Open, where two years she won her first Grand Slam title beating Serena Williams in the final. "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.
"I am playing wonderful tennis again and feeling just great", said Kerber. Today Kerber won 74% first serve points, and saved five break points out of six.
The second set witnessed an early exchange of breaks before Kerber broke the Australian to love to move 4-3 ahead and picked up her 11th career title when Barty found the net after yet another powerful Kerber forehand.
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The 21-year-old needed one hour, 58 minutes on Friday to see off the challenge of the Russian-born Gavrilova as both players struggled to hold serve throughout the match.
In men's quarterfinals, fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini beat No. 5 Adrian Mannarino 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-2, Daniil Medvedev defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-3, and Benoit Paire beat second-seeded Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-4.