Australia’s Ash Barty has made it to the final of the Sydney International for the second time, after coming back from a set down to beat Kiki Bertens 6(4)-7 6-4 7-5. Barty also made the finals in Sydney last year, where she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber in straight sets 6-4 6-4.
Bertens was the first to break in the opening set, but Barty was able to break back to level the score at 3-3. Both then held serve taking the set to a tie-break. Barty did have set point on the Bertens serve when she was up 5-4, but Bertens was able to hold her serve. In the tie-break, Barty had a 4-1 lead, but at this point “I hesitated a little bit and changed my mind on a couple of forehands,” Barty said later, allowing Bertens to win the next 6 points and take the first set.
In the second set, Barty broke to lead 3-2. Bertens had the opportunity to break back in the eighth game but was unable to do so, letting Barty back into the match.
Bertens had a break point in the deciding set at 4-3, Bertens leading but did not convert. Barty managed to break to give her a 6-5 lead, and the chance to serve for the match. The Australian got three match points that game, but only needed one to win the match and earn her spot in the final on Saturday.
Barty and Bertens are good friends on tour, and both commented post-match that whilst it is tough to play someone you are close with, it also has an aspect of fun to it.
“It’s always tough, but it’s always fun. I think it’s always fun to play someone you like than someone you don’t like.” Bertens said.
In the final, Barty will play no. 5 seed, Petra Kvitova after she won a rain-delayed semifinal late on Friday night. When asked if she had a preferred opponent for the final, Barty responded with
“No, certainly no preference. Whoever is able to get through, they have both have had amazing weeks and extremely confident weeks. It will be tough no matter what.”
The final will be played not before 5 pm on Saturday afternoon.