Kerber clinches Sydney title

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Angelique Kerber made the flawless start to 2018, winning the Sydney International after beating Ashleigh Barty in the final on Saturday.

The former world No.1 was too strong for Barty, winning the final 6-4, 6-4 to give her a massive confidence boost for next week's Australian Open in Melbourne.

Kerber, who began past year at the top of the rankings before finishing at No. 22, won her seventh straight match of 2018, including four singles at the Hopman Cup last week.

The German produced an impressive display to comfortably beat Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-4
The German produced an impressive display to comfortably beat Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-4

Sydney-born de Minaur may live in Spain but he will have the entire crowd behind him as he attempts to win his first tour title at Sydney Olympic Park.

In the men's final, Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev beat 18-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.

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.

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"It feels wonderful", he said.

Barty was gracious in defeat, adding: "It's awesome to see Angie back playing at her best".

"Today I felt really good on the court and I played very good tennis throughout the match".

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Elsewhere, Elise Mertens defended her Hobart International title after a 6-1 4-6 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu.

The second-seeded Mertens, who won her maiden singles title in Hobart a year ago as a qualifier, became the first player to win the tournament twice.

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