Kvitova conquers Barty in classic Sydney championship

Annette Crawford
January 12, 2019

Ashleigh Barty's dreams of a maiden home title have been crushed by Petra Kvitova in the Sydney International, beaten in a three-set epic 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3). Kvitova, the 2015 champion, surrendered her serve in the opening game and struggled to recover from her poor start, with the Czech's usually lethal backhand disintegrating amid a flurry of unforced errors in the first set.

Despite the disappointing end to the second set, Barty swiftly regrouped, using deep service returns to break for a 2-0 lead in the decider, and blasting an ace to claim a tough service hold for 3-0.

Facing each other for the third time and the first since June 2017, two players who have shown the most this week in Sydney had forced each other to the limits in sets two and three, staying neck and neck until the very last point.

Kvitova made 45 unforced errors to Barty's 33, but struck 31 clean winners, nine more than her opponent, as she edged the contest from the back of the court. They traded two more breaks in the last two games to reach the deciding tie break that the more experienced player grabbed 7-3 with a forehand cross court victor in that 10th point to lift the title and extend her winning streak in the WTA finals.

Barty withstood 15 aces from Bertens in the 2-hour, 18-minute match to advance to her second consecutive final in Sydney.

"I left everything out here but it wasn't quite enough", Barty said.

"Not to win at home, I'm sorry", Kvitova said.

Kvitova apologized to Barty and the crowd for spoiling the Australian's Sydney party. "One day you're going to make it for sure, so good luck in the Aussie Open and well done this week".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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