Kerber beats Barty to win Sydney title

Sydney International Angelique Kerber marches into semis Gilles Muller beaten by Benoit Paire

Reuters

Awaiting the German in the final will be Ashleigh Barty, who overcame a slow start to win her all-Australian semi-final against Daria Gavrilova 3-6 6-4 6-2. Angelique Kerber has 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.

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 a year ago.

Barty lost her serve six times in a match which included 13 breaks of serve - although the Australian took confidence from the win over her opponent. "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.

Medvedev will meet Australian teenager Alex de Minaur or Benoit Paire of France.

Giorgi, belying her ranking of world number 100, had defeated U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round, ousted twice Wimbledon and former Sydney champion Petra Kvitova and raced past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 in the last eight.

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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.

She will meet the victor of another quarterfinal between defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska and qualifier Camila Giorgi.

She also beat the new Australian No.1 at 2017 Strasbourg quarterfinal before losing to Stosur in the final.

Buzarnescu beat fifth-seeded Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-2 in her second career semifinal. The loss was "frustrating", Watson said. "I love playing in Australia, I love playing at home".

The Italian looked incredibly focused as she drilled 33 winners to 29 unforced errors and more self-assured in controlling her second deliveries.

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