Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Ash Barty loses dramatic Sydney International final to Czech player Petra Kvitova

Ash Barty loses dramatic Sydney International final to Czech player Petra Kvitova

She recovered to find some rhythm and then some dominance, the second set settling into a tit-for-tat clash, both women winning their service games until the 28-year-old broke Barty then took the set 7-5.

The Aussie faced no break points in the first eight service games but that all changed when Kvitova managed to break her in game 11 after some excellent defense, moving 6-5 up and wrapping up the set with a backhand victor in the next game to set up a deciding set.

Barty led the deciding set 3-0 before Kvitova began a comeback to win her 26th WTA title.

Ashleigh Barty in action. They traded two more breaks in the last two games to reach the deciding tie break that the more experienced player grabbed 7-3 with a forehand cross court victor in that 10th point to lift the title and extend her winning streak in the WTA finals.

After beating 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, Barty has defeated No. 1 Simona Halep, the 12th-ranked Elise Mertens and Bertens.

Kvitova made 45 unforced errors to Barty's 33, but struck 31 clean winners, nine more than her opponent, as she edged the contest from the back of the court.

In turn, it also handed Barty her second straight runner-up finish in Sydney, after losing to Angelique Kerber in last year's final.

"It's fantastic - it truly has been a phenomenal week of tennis", Barty said.

Incredibly, the momentum shifted once more, with Barty breaking the Czech to love to keep her hopes of a first Sydney title alive, but the Australian's composure deserted her as she lost the next game on serve to give Kvitova another chance.

"You know, one day you're going to make it for sure".

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