Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kerber marches on in Sydney, Muller beaten by Paire

Kerber marches on in Sydney, Muller beaten by Paire

Former world number one Kerber fell out of the top 20 last year but has made a strong start to the year ahead of next week's Australian Open with victories over Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams this week.

Ashleigh Barty eased through her quarterfinal clash against Barbora Strycova in straight sets, setting up an all-Australian battle against Daria Gavrilova. Barty completed a confident 6-3 6-2 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova, her 201st overall, the fourth in five meetings against Czech player since the beginning of 2017 as she lost to to Kvitova (Birmingham) and beat Vondrousova and Strycova (both at Birmingham) and Karolina Pliskova (Wuhan) "I think it's wonderful for Sydney and for Australian tennis - we're gonna have an Aussie in the final, which is awesome", Barty said after her win at the Ken Rosewall Arena that made her clinch the fifth WTA semifinal. "I'm not looking back 2017 any more", Kerber, who won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open titles in 2016, said.

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.

"To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of the better tennis that I have this week".

Kerber and Barty have split their two previous meetings past year with the Australian winning in Zhuhai, China, and the German winning in three sets in Brisbane last week.

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

"I felt like it was a pretty good level", Barty said.

The 42nd-ranked Paire will meet rising young Australian star Alex de Minaur, who downed Spain's Feliciano Lopez in the night match, 6-4, 6-4.

"To win here six matches in a row, to be in my second ATP final, to have the chance to get the title is unbelievable feeling".

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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