Barty hails great start with Adelaide title

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ADELAIDE:  Ashleigh Barty won her first career title at home on Saturday with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska at the Adelaide International. The world No. 1 is assured of holding the top ranking as the Australian Open begins on Monday in Melbourne.

 

Barty claimed victory after 87 minutes at Memorial Drive as Yastremska sent a return long over the baseline. She was presented the carved wood trophy by an Aboriginal elder who blessed it before it was handed over. It’s nice to get the ball rolling this week, I can’t wait to get starred in Melbourne next week, the top seed said.

 

The last Australian woman to win a home title was Jarmila Wolfe in 2011 at Hobart. Barty called her victory a great start to the year. I feel like we had a great tussle out there, I was finally able to bring it across the line. I’ve enjoyed the time here, I really tried to bring my best this week, she said.

 

I love playing at home in Australia. This is the payoff for the preseason work we did. It’s about coming out here and enjoying the competition. Barty won the opening set against her 19-year-old opponent, losing just two points on serve and breaking three times. After starting the second set with a break, the Australian momentarily lost her edge, dropping serve for two all.

 

Barty kept up the pressure on 24th-ranked Yastremska, earning three break points in the 11th game. One was enough as Yastremska put a backhand wide. A game later, Barty earned three match points and took the title from a concluding error from her opponent. Barty’s victory was her second in the series after beating the teenager on the way to the Miami title last March.

 

In the men’s final, Russian Andrey Rublev secured his second title in a week after beating Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-0. The 18th-ranked third seed is the first man since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to lift two trophies during the first two weeks of an ATP season. He won the Qatar Open in Doha last weekend. The victory was Rublev’s 12th in a row since November as he heads into the Australian Open.

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