SYDNEY – Australia’s Ashleigh Barty advanced to the final of the Sydney International after beating world number nine Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands at Ken Rosewall Arena on Friday in a semifinal that went down to the wire.
Barty overcame some tense moments in the two-hour and 18-minute match before finally sealing the nail-biter 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5.
The 27-year-old Dutch player won the first set in a tight tiebreak that put the 22-year-old Australian on the back foot. Barty had been leading 4-1 before she lost six straight games to lose the set.
But last years’ runner up maintained her composure to outlast Bertens, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist last year.
Speaking after the match, Barty admitted it was tough to lose such a tight first set.
“I missed my opportunity in the first set. I changed my mind a couple of times in that tie-break. It cost me,” the world number 15 said.
“It’s amazing. It truly has been a phenomenal week of tennis. I feel like I’ve played great the whole week. I’ve had tough opponents every single round. And I’m really excited to have another shot at the title,” she added.
Barty will now meet either Petra Kvitova or Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the final.
On her way to the title game, Barty has made headlines by eliminating higher ranked players from the Sydney International before securing her place in the final.
In the second round on Wednesday, she stunned world number one Simona Halep 6-4, 6-4, before sealing her spot in the last four with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over world No. 12 Elise Mertens on Thursday.