Kerber too strong for Barty to win Sydney International
SYDNEY, JAN 13: Germany's Angelique Kerber beat Australia's Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to win the Sydney International for her ninth consecutive win on Saturday ahead of next week's Australian Open.
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 the year's opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.
It was Kerber's first title since the 2016 US Open and was the left-hander's second win over the 19th-ranked Barty in three meetings.
Kerber, who began last year as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence and remains unbeaten this year.
"I had a great week. I played good tennis," Kerber said.
"The final against Ash was not easy, but I was able to play my game in important moments. So I'm really happy and proud to win the first title in 2018.
"It's just the beginning of the year, but I think I'm getting closer to my best the level again and just trying to focus from match to match and trying to play again my tennis like I played in the last years, especially 2016."
Kerber won her four matches at last week's mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her five victories in Sydney.
Kerber claimed the first break of the match for a 3-2 lead, an advantage she would not relinquish as she went on to take the opening set. -AFP