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AFP
January 13, 2019

Kvitova digs deep to outlast Barty in Sydney final

Sports

AFP
January 13, 2019

SYDNEY: Petra Kvitova outlasted Ashleigh Barty in a final-set tiebreak to win the Sydney International for the second time on Saturday.

The Czech 2015 champion and fifth seed fought back from dropping the opening set and an early break in the final set to beat the top-ranked Aussie, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in two hours 19 minutes.

It was a gutsy performance from the two-time Wimbledon champion who only finished her semi-final against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the early hours of Saturday.

Kvitova had beaten Barty both the previous times they played, including in the Birmingham final in 2017, but she had to dig deep to win her eighth straight final, coming back from an 0-3 deficit in the final set.

Kvitova prevailed despite her serve being broken six times in the match but she finished with 31 winners to Barty’s 23.

Barty raced through the opening set after breaking the big-serving Kvitova in the first game on back-to-back double faults.

Kvitova began to hit her spots with her powerful groundstrokes in the second set and broke Barty for 6-5 and then served out the set in the next game with a backhand winner that clipped the back of the baseline on her second set point.

Barty broke early to lead 3-0 in the final set, but Kvitova broke back in the fifth game to level at 3-3.

Barty saved four break points in the ninth game but with the break in hand, Kvitova couldn’t serve out the match.

She broke again in the 11th game but began to struggle physically and back-to-back double faults took the deciding set to a tiebreak.

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