Angelique beats Ashleigh to win Sydney International

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Former world number one Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

Coming off an unconvincing win over countrywoman Daria Gavrilova, Barty now faces a stern test before the Australian Open, facing off against two time Grand Slam champion Kerber.

A single break in the first set was enough for Kerber, who pulled clear from 3-3 in the second to win the trophy.

Kerber won her four matches at last week's mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her five victories in Sydney.

Angelique Kerber won her ninth consecutive match to start the season, beating Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the Sydney International title.

"She will have a great 2018, I'm very sure about this".

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The title marked the 11th of her career but first since she won since the US Open in 2016.

Having defeated such class opposition will provide Kerber with great confidence tonight, and Barty will have to produce her best tennis to stop the German in her tracks.

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.

De Minaur, ranked 167 in the world and the youngest player to reach an ATP World Tour final since American Taylor Fritz at Memphis in 2016, showed impressive fighting spirit to recover from 4-0 down in the decider to level the third set at 5-5.

"I certainly shot myself in the foot with my serve today", she said. "I think I will try to enjoy it, as well, but also going out, focusing on my game like I did it in the last few days, and just trying [to be] aggressive and trying to win another match here".

"I'm drawn to play on Tuesday so the preparation is slightly different as if I was playing on Monday", Barty said. "To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of the better tennis that I have this week", Barty said.

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