Ashleigh Barty: 'Winning Adelaide title was the best preparation for Melbourne'

Ash Barty

"I'm so happy with who I've been playing these two weeks, I've really enjoyed my tennis a lot", he added.

It is not the first time Barty has arrived at Melbourne Park as the local hope in the women's draw, but it was her maiden appearance at the season-opening major wearing the mantle of world number one.

Methodical in dismantling Marketa Vondrousova in the quarterfinals, Barty elevated her game in the face of a Danielle Collins onslaught in the semifinals, beating the rampaging American in a third-set tiebreak. The Aussie served for the title and closed out the match after the Ukrainian sent one final backhand long.

The Australian had been visibly frustrated when Tsurenko wrested control of proceedings in the first set, but importantly for her legion of fans she did not allow panic to creep into her game in the early stages of the second.

Barty came into the match looking to go one better than her previous two years where she fell agonisingly short of the breakthrough title.

After starting the second set with a break, the Australian momentarily lost her edge, dropping serve for two all.

The Queenslander said it had been a tight turnaround after her Adelaide International triumph on Saturday, but she was eager to get back on Rod Laver Arena.

"It turned to be third time lucky, I suppose".

"I think that's the love and that's the comfort that you need, and it's just so happened that we have had some incredible results and have been riding on this kind of incredible journey with my professional team, who are also my family".

Stosur acknowledged years ago that she struggles in front of home crowds, and she has not reached the second round of the singles since 2015, with her career-best fourth-round finishes coming in 2006 and 2010.

Broken in the first game of the match, Stosur quickly found herself down 0-2 before holding serve and powering to 0-40 in the next game. In turn, she further dropped points.

"It's a learning experience", she said.

However, unforced errors proved her undoing once again.

Yet the top seed scraped to a 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over the Russian, and it was a victory that seemed to unlock something.

All looked to be going smoothly for the Queenslander, winning the first set in 30 minutes, but the 19-year-old Yastremska have a ideal example of why she has risen through the rankings.

In this high-stakes final, both players held to love to begin before Barty raised her level of play, putting away an overhead to set up triple break point and she gained the advantage after Yastremska missed an easy swinging volley.

That was the end of Stosur's resistance, though, as McNally rattled off the next two games to complete the straight-sets win.



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