Kerber downs Barty in Sydney International final

Tennis- Sydney International- Sydney Olympic Park Sydney Australia

Tennis- Sydney International- Sydney Olympic Park Sydney Australia

Former world number one Angelique Kerber continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty in the Sydney International final on Saturday, giving herself a welcome boost ahead of next week's Australian Open.

"The final against Ash was not easy, but I was able to play my game in important moments".

"It's just the beginning of the year, but I think I'm getting closer to my best the level again and just trying to focus from match to match and trying to play again my tennis like I played in the last years, especially 2016".

A double-fault midway through the first set cost Barty a crucial break point as Kerber claimed the first set 6-4.

But the Australian won the point back straight away as she looked to get back in the match, until Kerber extended her lead in the eighth game with another break.

In men's quarterfinals, fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini beat No. 5 Adrian Mannarino 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-2, Daniil Medvedev defeated Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-3, and Benoit Paire beat second-seeded Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-4.

"And Angie is on fire".

Barty's big first serve helped her but Kerber was the more composed and was not put under pressure when the Australian had the chance.

Barty said she would be ready for her Australian Open first round opponent Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.