Tennis News: Ash Barty, the world number one, was in immaculate form on Sunday, defeating Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 at Memorial Drive to win the Adelaide International and collect her 14th WTA title.
Barty, who won the event in 2020, crushed the 22-year-old seventh seed from Kazakhstan to win in just over an hour, as she regained her form just over a week before the Australian Open begins in Melbourne.
“The work I do behind the scenes with my team puts me in the best possible position to play good tennis time after time, every time we’re asked,” Barty told reporters. “I’m feeling fairly fine as the summer approaches.”
“I’m in good shape going up to the Australian Open like I am every year.” Every preparation is one-of-a-kind, and each preparation is distinct.
“So we take things as they come and as they are, move on, and try to do the best we can in every situation, whether it’s here in Adelaide or in Melbourne.”
After saving two break points in the eighth game, the 25-year-old gained possession midway through the first set, rallying back to win despite a double fault.
After putting what should have been a simple winner into the net, the home favourite took advantage of an opponent’s error by hitting an ace to hold.
When Rybakina’s failure to convert that opening frightened her, she aggressively exploited the situation to put herself in a match-winning position.
In the next game, Barty created a break-point opportunity for herself, which she promptly converted. The Australian took command after that.
Rybakina’s problems worsened early in the second set, with a double fault giving Barty another break in the first game.
Barty, who hasn’t dropped serve since losing to Coco Gauff in the first round of the event, won seven straight games with another break to take a 4-0 lead before cruising to victory.
In Melbourne, Halep wins
Simona Halep, the former world number one, defeated Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final on Sunday, claiming the trophy and boosting her confidence ahead of the Australian Open.
Halep, who was forced to withdraw from the French Open, Wimbledon, and the Tokyo Olympics due to a calf injury last year, showed no evidence of the ailment as she defeated Kudermetova 6-2 6-3 in one hour 14 minutes.
Kudermetova started off strong, breaking Halep’s serve to take a 2-1 lead in the first set. However, the two-time Grand Slam champion came back strong, breaking back in the following game and then twice more to capture the first set 6-2.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Kudermetova grabbing the lead before Halep rallied to tie the match at 2-2. Halep broke a few games later to make it 5-3, and she went on to win her 23rd career title by holding to love.
“It’s wonderful to be back here and perform in front of you. Thank you so much for your help “Halep addressed the Rod Laver Arena crowd, which booed the Romanian from start to finish. “You made it possible for me to win.”
On Sunday, Amanda Anisimova of the United States overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-5 1-6 6-4 to win her second WTA championship in the Melbourne Summer Set 2 competition, which was held concurrently.
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