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By Chris Oddo | Friday January 12, 2018

Angelique Kerber will head to the Australian Open with a lot of confidence. The German swept through the Sydney International, finishing her title run with an impressive 6-4, 6-4 takedown of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty for her 11th career title and first since the 2016 U.S. Open.

Including her four victories at Hopman Cup, Kerber has now won all nine matches she has played this season. She defeated four players ranked 31 or higher en route to the title in Sydney—all of last season Kerber only managed two victories against players ranked 31 or higher (2-14).

Kerber saved five of six break points on the evening, including all four she faced in the first set. She made 81 percent of her first serves and won 20 of 26 of those points.


“It feels very good to win my first title in my first tournament this year. I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash. I feel like I am getting closer to my 2016 level.”

Kerber will begin her Australian Open with an all-German battle against Ana Lena Friedsam.

21-year-old Barty would have become the youngest player to win the Sydney title since Justine Henin in 2004, and the first Aussie champion since 2005.

She’ll face Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the first round at Melbourne.

"To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of my better tennis this week,” she said. “But Angie is on fire.”

 

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