Ash Barty’s quest for a maiden Australian Open title has received a boost, defeating Elena Rybakina as she stormed home to win the 2022 WTA 500 Adelaide International title on Sunday.
Strong on serve
Barty was on fire early, winning her first service game to love to get the Adelaide International crowd on their feet as Rybakina also had a strong first service game to level the score at 1-1.
The top seed dropped just two points in her opening three service games.
A 197km/h serve moved the Kazakhstani level to 3-3 as both players were strong on their serve.
An 18-shot rally in the seventh game of the set silenced the Adelaide crowd as Rybakina played a powerful cross-court forehand winner which pushed Barty to a double-fault the very next point.
The seventh seed had two break points but the Australian typically served her way out of the game, winning four-straight points to take a 4-3 lead.
All of the momentum was with Barty, and the Memorial Drive crowd cheered as Rybakina hit a long forehand to give Barty the chance to serve for the set.
The world No. 1 did not drop a point in the final game as she raced to a 6-3 lead in 28 minutes. Barty lost just five points on serve throughout the set, despite only hitting one ace.
More of the same as Barty crowned champion
The Wimbledon champion, who last night made light work of Iga Swiatek, came out hard in the second set, breaking Rybakina in the very first game.
Looking for her second Adelaide International title, Barty would consolidate the break by taking a tricky second game.
Australia’s best female player would win her third of three break points, so far throughout the match, to take a 3-0 lead as Rybakina’s backhand-slice went wide.
Russian-born Rybakina offered slight resistance, struggling to secure points on her second serve. She held her serve to make it 4-1, but Barty already had one hand on the trophy.
The Queenslander’s serve would remain strong as she easily dispatched of her opponent to make it 5-1.
Barty took her 14th WTA title in just 64 minutes of dominant tennis, 6-2 6-4.
A gracious champion
Rybakina was thankful to the fans at Memorial Drive throughout the week and was looking forward to her Australian Open campaign.
“Thank you so much to South Australia. Congrats Ash, what a great week. Good luck in (the) doubles (final),” she told the crowd.
“It’s been a good start of the season and hopefully I continue to get better and better.”
Barty was gracious as she accepted the trophy, thanking her opponent first.
“I’d like to start by congratulating Elena on a fantastic week. It was really fun to play out here with you today,” said the two-time Adelaide International winner.
“You guys, the fans, have made this week exceptional for me.
“You’ve brought that spark back into my tennis… I really appreciate that.
“We’ll catch you guys in Melbourne.”
The ‘Barty Army’ of Australian tennis deserve to be excited as Barty arguably has not looked better directly prior to an Australian Open campaign.
More Tennis News
Barty backs up
Barty will tonight backup her singles final by playing in the doubles final with fellow Australian Storm Sanders. The pair will hope to defeat third seeds Darija Jurak Schreiber and Andreja Klepac.
Subscribe to our newsletter!