Angelique Kerber issues Australian Open warning with Sydney International triumph

Angelique Kerber issues Australian Open warning with Sydney International triumph

Angelique Kerber made the ideal start to 2018, winning the Sydney International after beating Ashleigh Barty in the final on Saturday.

The 2016 Australian Open champion and former No. 1-ranked Kerber won four singles matches at the Hopman Cup, helping Germany to reach the final against Switzerland, and followed up with five wins in Sydney. Giorgi beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2. I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash.

Kerber, who began previous year at the top of the rankings before finishing at No. 22, won her seventh straight match of 2018, including four singles at the Hopman Cup last week.

In front of a capacity crowd at the Ken Rosewall Arena, the players traded breaks to start the second set but Kerber's defensive fortitude was too much for the Australian, breaking to lead 4-3 and taking the deciding set and the trophy.

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Kerber, who began past year as No 1 before finishing at No 22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovakia Dominika Cibulkova. I played some of my best tennis this week and it wasn't enough. But I'm feeling good - I'm healthy.

It was Kerber's second win over the 19th-ranked Barty in three meetings.

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.

The title marked the 11th of her career but first since she won since the US Open in 2016.

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