Ash Barty faced no. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the final for the WTA 500 in Stuttgart.
Both players would hold serve to see the opening set at 2-2.
In the fifth game Sabalenka served two double faults along with a shot hit wide to give Barty another break opportunity.
Embed from Getty Images
A forehand winner saved the first break point. An Ace got it back to deuce. The Belarusian would hold.
Barty then found herself down several break points in the following game before holding.
Sabalenka would hold and then Barty was again down two break points at 15-40. She saved the first with a forehand winner however she would drop serve after hitting a drop shot into the net.
The no. 5 seed was then serving for the opening set. She pummelled a forehand winner to win the opening point. The next point Sabalenka hit long and then she moved to 30-15 after another big winner.
Sabalenka played a drop shot that Barty just reached, the Australian did enough to force a volley error from her opponent.
Not to be put off, Sabalenka again played a drop shot, this time is was a winner for a set point. A double fault saw that slip away.
A big serve that Barty mistimes and sent wide gave Sabalenka a second set point. This time a big second serve forced an error from Barty and the set was in the bag.
Barty Storms Back in the Second Set
Barty had to work hard to win the opening game of the second set.
The world no. 1 hit a winner on the return of serve to take the opening point of game two. Then came a slice into the net for 15-15.
Barty played a chip and charge shot on the next point and hit a great stretch volley to move to 15-30. Sabalenka swung hard and wide with a forehand to face two break points.
The first break point was saved after Barty sliced into the net. A big backhand winner got things back to deuce.
An overhit backhand from the Belarusian gave Barty another chance. This time Sabalenka hit long to see Barty jump to 2-0. Barty then consolidated the break to move to 3-0.
Another break and Barty was racing through the set with a 4-0 lead. It was one way traffic after Barty held to love for 5-0.
Sabalenka was falling apart and was broken again after hitting into the net, it was 6-0 to Barty.
Medical Timeout for Sabalenka
At the change of ends Sabalenka was seen by the physio and left the court for some treatment.
Sabalenka returned to the court with her right thigh bandaged.
Barty comfortably held serve in the opening game to take the early lead.
The Australian raced out to 15-40 after a few winners and an error from Sabalenka. The game was hers after Sabalenka hit a forehand out.
Barty made it nine games in a row after she won to love and was ahead 3-0.
Sabalenka was going after her shots and she was able to hold serve for 3-1.
The Belarusian then jumped out to 0-30. A forehand error saw Barty get to 15-30. A break back point was hers after Barty pulled a forehand wide.
Sabalenka was back in the hunt after seeing Barty hit her shot into the net, the score was now 2-3 with Sabalenka to serve.
Barty was looking to take back control and she hit back immediately, helped by a double fault from Sabalenka on break point.
Sabalenka looked to be able to break again after going up 0-30 before Barty got to 30-30. Sabalenka upped her intensity and forced an error from Barty for another break point.
A shot just over the baseline from the no. 5 seed saw that slip, Barty would miss again to see Sabalenka swinging for another break. Again her shot would go just long.
Again some big shots forced an error from Barty who hit long. A great first serve setup Barty at the net and she was able to hit a volley winner.
Barty switched to slice shots and Sabalenka hit an unforced error to give the Ad to Barty. The Australian netted a drop shot and again it was deuce and then Ad again to Barty.
Sabalenka was hitting with great power and she would force a lob from Barty which was smashed away for a winner. Barty again got to Ad but could not close out the game.
Finally after a backhand slice to Sabalenka’s backhand which the Belarusian then sliced into the net the game was Barty’s. The Australian was one game from the title.
Sabalenka hit the opening point wide to be under immediate pressure as she served to stay in the match. A good second serve that Barty sliced into the net had the score at 15-15.
Barty was playing great defence and she forced an error from Sabalenka who hit well wide. A Sabalenka winner locked it up at 30-30.
Barty just missed a forehand angled winner to see Sabalenka have a game point. She wasted that when hitting into the net.
A one-two punch gave Sabalenka the next point for Ad, then she won the game to force the world no. 1 to serve for the match.
Sabalenka hit lost the first point after hitting over the baseline. The second went the same way with another shot hit long.
Ash Barty had three championship points after her opponent hit a service return well long.
Another title for Barty
Sabalenka attacked and saved the first as she forced an error from Barty. The next point saw Sabalenka net the service return and Barty was the champion taking the match 3-6, 6-0, 6-3.
Barty ended the match serving at 63.5% of first serves with Sabalenka on 61.5%.
The title win takes Barty to the top of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen ahead of Naomi Osaka. She also takes home a Porsche as the champion in Stuttgart.
Embed from Getty Images
Barty rounded out a perfect birthday week, adding the doubles title with Jennifer Brady.
They defeated the no. 1 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Desirae Krawczyk 6-4, 5-7, [10-5].
It was their first doubles title as a pairing.