Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Barty best of the Aussies in Sydney

Barty best of the Aussies in Sydney

She had already beaten Olivia Rogowska in the first round and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the second and advanced to the semi-finals after Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza withdrew with a hip injury.

Angelique Kerber won her eighth consecutive match of the new season, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to beat qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to reach the Sydney International final on Friday.

"I'm not looking back 2017 any more", said Kerber, who started to work with Wim Fissette obtaining immediate dividends. I'm trying to do my best on court and win as many matches before going to Melbourne.

"It's just the beginning of the year, so it's tough to say". "I love playing in Australia, I love playing at home".

"That has always been (the case) when I have been the No.1-ranked player".

Barty will play in her first home WTA final on after overcoming compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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Gavrilova was playing her third successive Australian opponent in Sydney. "I think I shot myself in the foot with my serving in the first [set] and didn't give myself an opportunity to be dominant on service games", said Barty, who is now one win from becoming the first Australian woman to win the Sydney International since Alicia Molik in 2005. "We can go out and have a really good match, go hard at each other, and still shake hands, have a hug at the end of the match, and wish each other the best", Barty said.

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro kept his Australian Open preparations on track with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Russia's Karen Khachanov in the Auckland Classic on Thursday, setting up a semifinal meeting with David Ferrer.

Ferrer is yet to drop a set in Auckland and has shown glimpses of his old form that saw him win the tournament in 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Ferrer's countryman Roberto Bautista Agut will play Dutchman Robin Haase in the other semifinal.

In the men's draw, Alex De Minaur ensured there would be an Australian in both finals as he came from a set down to beat Benoit Paire.

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