Barty best of the Aussies in Sydney

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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.

SYDNEY, Australia - Angelique Kerber won her ninth consecutive match to start the season, beating Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the Sydney International title on Saturday.

Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, won all four singles at the Hopman Cup and now all four in Sydney en route to the final.

Kerber eased to a 6-2, 6-3 triumph, reaching the Sydney final for the second time in her career having lost to Tsvetana Pironkova in 2014, and her first in any tournament since April past year.

"I played the last match of 2017 against her, so it was not so long ago".

"Dash and I know each other very well so hopefully we can play some good tennis".

"It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's ideal preparation for next week", Barty said after her win.

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Barty overcame compatriot Daria Gavrilova in three sets, coming back from a set down to win 3-6 6-4 6-2.

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

The Ipswich product opens her campaign against Belarusian and world No.69 Aryna Sabalenka in a quarter of the draw that could lead to a possible third-round match against world No.16 Elena Vesnina. I'm trying to play my game again, enjoy every minute on court.

The 84th-ranked Medvedev came back from a set down to move within one win of what would be his maiden ATP title against rising Australian star Alex de Minaur.

Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini set up a semi-final against qualifier Daniil Medvedev following a 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-4), 6-2 marathon against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

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

Paire sent down 17 aces against the world No.25 to advance to his second semi-final in a week, after reaching the last four in India.