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Angelique Kerber to face Ashleigh Barty in Sydney International tennis final

Angelique Kerber, who began last year as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi, ending the Italian qualifier’s run of six wins in the Sydney International tennis tournament.

tennis Updated: Jan 12, 2018 16:22 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Sydney
Angelique Kerber,Ashleigh Barty,Sydney International
Angelique Kerber defeated Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to enter the final of the Sydney International tennis tournament. (AFP)

Germany’s former world No.1 Angelique Kerber won her eighth consecutive match on Friday and will play Australian Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Sydney International tennis tournament.

Kerber, who began last year as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi, ending the Italian qualifier’s run of six wins in the tournament.

(Read | Ashleigh Barty downs Daria Gavrilova to enter Sydney International tennis final)

It is an impressive start to the new year for Kerber, having won her four matches at last week’s mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her four victories in Sydney.

Barty will play in her first home WTA final on Saturday after she beat compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

It will be the 19th-ranked Barty’s second career title and her win over the 25th-ranked Gavrilova came after a topsy-turvy match that included 11 breaks of serve.

(Read | Elise Mertens enters Hobart International tennis final with Heather Watson win)

Kerber and Barty have split their two previous meetings last year with the Australian winning in Zhuhai, China, and the German winning in three sets in Brisbane last week.

Barty continued her strong buildup to next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne, where she opens against world No.69 Aryna Sabalenka.

(Read | Australian Open: Billie Jean King wants Margaret Court Arena renamed)

“It’s nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it’s perfect preparation for next week,” Barty said.

“I mean, I’d love to go one further and hold the trophy up here, but I love playing in Australia, I love playing at home.

“It’s nice to be able to get a lot of matches here and be rewarded with the final.”

(Read | Australian Open tennis: Rafael Nadal preparation may cost repeat of Roger Federer epic)

Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev upset Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Sydney men’s final.

The 84th-ranked Medvedev came back from a set down to move within one win of what would be his maiden ATP title against either rising Australian star Alex de Minaur or Frenchman Benoit Paire in Saturday’s final.

“I’m very happy, first of all, because life on ATP Tour is not easy. Every match you win, you’re glad to win it, no matter first round, second, so it goes step by step,” Medvedev said.

“To win here six matches in a row, to be in my second ATP final, to have the chance to get the title is amazing feeling. I’m just motivated to do it.”

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 16:22 IST