Kerber wins Sydney International

Sam Stosur happy to fly under the radar

The German player defeated Ashleigh Barty in straight sets, 6-4 6-4, after an hour and 11 minutes in the Sydney final to win her 11th career title, the first one since 2016 US Open.

Kerber drops just two sets throughout her week in Sydney.

Having defeated such class opposition will provide Kerber with great confidence tonight, and Barty will have to produce her best tennis to stop the German in her tracks. "Even last year was very much a first throughout the whole year", Barty said.

"I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash but I was able to play my game in important moments".

"You know, I feel like if I play like that I'll probably beat most of the people in the draw".

Barty, ranked nineteenth, cruised past Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-2, while 25th-ranked Gavrilova had direct passage to the last four when Spain's Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza withdrew after her win over Kiki Bertens with a thigh injury.

She has Aryna Sabalenka in the first round, before a possible second match against Sydney International semi-finalist Camila Giorgi.

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"I think there is that mutual respect, which is incredible to get respect from such a champion like Angie". "I played the last match of 2017 against her, so it was not so long ago". I was just trying to getting used to the weather conditions, as well, because every day was a little bit different: windy, it was hot, and everything.

"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".

In her post-match media conference, the Australian No.1 also reflected on her own strong showing in Sydney, which helped swell the spectator numbers and making for a cracking atmosphere during the final.

Barty held just once in the first set but reversed the momentum in the second when she broke in the ninth game after Gavrilova double faulted twice, which prompted the 23-year-old to smash her racquet in frustration and earn a code violation.

"And Angie is on fire".

"There is nothing better than playing at home, playing in front of a home crowd. It's nice to be able to get a lot of matches here and be rewarded with the final". 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.

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