Print Edition - 2018-01-14 | Sports
Kerber too strong, Medvedev trimph
- sydney int’l
Jan 14, 2018-
Germany’s Angelique Kerber beat Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to win the Sydney International for her ninth consecutive win on Saturday ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
The former world No1 was too strong for Barty, winning the final 6-4, 6-4 to give her a massive confidence boost for the year’s opening Grand Slam in Melbourne. It was Kerber’s first title since the 2016 US Open and was the left-hander’s second win over the 19th-ranked Barty in three meetings.
Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev fought off tigerish Australian youngster Alex de Minaur for his first ATP Tour title. Medvedev completed an all-conquering week to fight back from losing the opening set to extinguish de Minaur, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5. It was 21-year-old Medvedev’s seventh win this week, giving him solid preparation for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne where he faces another Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round.
Kerber, who began last year as No.1 before finishing at No 22, continued her 2018 resurgence and remains unbeaten this year. “I had a great week. I played good tennis,” Kerber said. “The final against Ash was not easy, but I was able to play my game in important moments. So I’m really happy and proud to win the first title in 2018. It’s just the beginning of the year, but I think I’m getting closer to my best the level again and just trying to focus from match to match and trying to play again my tennis like I played in the last years, especially 2016.”
Kerber won her four matches at last week’s mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her five victories in Sydney. It is her 11th career WTA title and positions her as one of the favourites for the Australian Open. It was the first time an Australian woman featured in the Sydney International final since 2005 when Alicia Molik took the title over Sam Stosur.
Published: 14-01-2018 10:20