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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 April 2018

Sydney Open winner Angelique Kerber 'playing amazing tennis again' ahead of Australian Open

German former world No 1 completed her preparations by winning the Sydney Open title on Saturday.

Angelique Kerber poses with the Sydney Open trophy after her win over Ashleigh Barty in Saturday's final. Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images
Angelique Kerber poses with the Sydney Open trophy after her win over Ashleigh Barty in Saturday's final. Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

Former world No 1 Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney Open on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

The German two-time grand slam champion, currently ranked No 22 in the world after a disappointing 2017 campaign, registered her ninth win in as many matches this year with another clinical performance against the local favourite.

It was the first individual final since Monterrey in April last year for Kerber, who won the Australian and US Open titles in 2016.

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"Thanks to my team for believing in me and supporting me, we had an excellent week. I am really looking forward to the rest of the year," Kerber, 29, said in a court-side interview after claiming a first title since her US Open triumph.

"I am playing amazing tennis again and I am just feeling great."

After some tight early service games, Barty double-faulted to hand Kerber the first break and a 3-2 lead, and the German served out the opening set with little trouble.

The second set witnessed an early exchange of breaks before Kerber broke the Australian to love to move 4-3 ahead and picked up her 11th career title when Barty found the net after yet another powerful Kerber forehand.