The Sydney International final was down to the third-set tiebreak and Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova overcame last year’s runner-up Ashleigh Barty to win the Premier-level tournament for the second time, preventing the Australian from clinching the title in her home country.
The fifth-seeded Kvitova won just one game in the first set, hitting three winners that were far outweighed by 13 unforced errors. The closely-fought second set went with serve until 5-5, when Kvitova broke Barty and then served out the set in the next game with a stunning backhand winner on the second set point.
The 22-year-old Barty didn’t let the disappointment of losing the second set bring her down, as she established a 3-0 lead in the decider. Kvitova got the set back on serve and at 4-4 battled through a grueling game to earn a break of her own on her fifth break point. Serving for the match, Kvitova produced a number of errors and helped Barty stay alive, 5-5. Another exchange of breaks followed as the set progressed into a tiebreak, which Kvitova ended with powerful forehands and backhands to pick up her first title in 2019 with a 1-6 7-5 7-6(3) victory.
Wearing the red Nike Winter Court Top and the Nike Winter Print Skirt, Kvitova triumphed over fresh Shenzhen Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in the first round, Su-wei Hsieh in the second, defending champion and second seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals, qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the semis, and finally last year’s finalist Barty.
The last year’s WTA title leader with five champion’s trophies will rise from No.8 to No.6 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.
As you know, our Jimmie48 is already at the Australian Open, but he was in Sydney until the quarterfinals, so we have plenty of wonderful photos from the event. Here are the galleries:
- Thursday: Kvitova impresses against Kerber, semifinals set
- Wednesday: Halep exits early, Kvitova completes quarterfinal lineup
- Tuesday: Kerber reaches quarterfinals, Kvitova & Stephens win openers
- Monday: Muguruza beats compatriot Suarez Navarro in the first round