Kerber wins Sydney title in ideal start to 2018

Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrates her win over Ash Barty of Australia in their women's final singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney Saturday Jan. 13 2018

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.

The German endured a tough campaign a year ago, but appears close to recapturing her best form, claiming a title to begin the season with a 6-4 6-4 win over Barty.

The 2016 Australian Open champion and former No. 1-ranked Kerber won four singles matches at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Western Australia last week, helping Germany reach the final against Switzerland, and followed up with five wins in Sydney.

Kerber had played 26 tournaments in a row without winning the title.

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"This start is not bad for 2018, for sure".

"I am playing incredible tennis again and I am just feeling great".

Kerber, who knocked out Venus Williams in her opening match in Sydney, said she was not yet back to her best form of 2016 when she won the Australian and US Opens.

"Being now in the semis again here, it's really a good feeling, especially that I had the goal, to have a lot of matches before going to Melbourne". Giorgi beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2.

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Medvedev will next play Australian 18-year-old Alex de Minaur, who defeated Benoit Paire of France 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Sydney-born de Minaur may live in Spain but he will have the entire crowd behind him as he attempts to win his first tour title at Sydney Olympic Park.

In men's semifinals, Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev booked a spot in the final by upsetting fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

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