Kerber sinks local hope Barty to win Sydney title

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

Kerber, who won two grand slam titles in 2016, will carry winning form and confidence into the Australian Open.

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

For Barty, 21, it was a fine start to the year, although she was unable to add to her one WTA Tour crown – won in Malaysia in 2017.

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 has been drawn to face fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam in the Australian Open first round, while Barty plays Aryna Sabalenka.