Barty defeats Gavrilova to reach Sydney final

Kerber advances to Sydney International semifinals

Barty books all-Aussie semifinal against Gavrilova, clears Strycova in Sydney

After conceding only one game in the opening set, Giorgi won five in a row in the second to wrap up victory and set up a semi-final against Angelique Kerber, who defeated Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-1.

Barty, ranked No.19 in the world, held serve just once in the first set but found her groove thereafter as the 25th-ranked Gavrilova slowly struggled in the heat.

Ashleigh Barty overcame a slow start to win her all-Australian semi-final against Daria Gavrilova 3-6 6-4 6-2 and advance to the final of the Sydney International.

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.

The Queenslander's summer began with a first-round defeat in Brisbane last week but she has bounced back well ahead of the Australian Open, where she opens against world No.69 Aryna Sabalenka. While Gavrilova attempted to stay with Barty, she was broken to love in the seventh game. "I certainly shot myself in the foot with my serve today", she said.

Frustrations boiled over after Gavrilova broke Barty to make it 4-4 in the second set, only to double-fault when serving to repel a break point. For me, it was nice to find the rhythm eventually but would definitely like to see it a little bit earlier in matches.

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"It's nice to be able to get a lot of matches here and be rewarded with the final". "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.

Kerber, who began past year as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovakia Dominika Cibulkova.

"Everyone is going through a different stage in their career, and obviously this is a first for me".

"We have set up a flawless platform for me to work with this year to try and go deep in tournaments, whether it's in Australia or in Europe or in the States".

"Regardless whether you're No. 1, No. 10, or No. 100 in the world, it's the best feeling for an Australian to be playing at the Australian Open".

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