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Tennis-Barty brushes aside Rybakina to claim Adelaide International

Randy Mancini 7 Jan 9
Tennis: US Open
FILE PHOTO: Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates after recording match point against Clara Tauson of Denmark in a second round match on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

January 9, 2022

(Reuters) – World number one Ash Barty was in imperious form on Sunday as the Australian handed Elena Rybakina a 6-3 6-2 defeat at Memorial Drive to win the Adelaide International and claim the 14th WTA title of her career.

Barty, who won the event in 2020, dominated against the 22-year-old seventh seed from Kazakhstan to win in just over an hour, as she hits form a little more than a week ahead of the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old took command midway through the opening set after being forced to save two break points in the seventh game, fighting back to win despite a double fault.

The home favourite capitalised on an error by her opponent after she put what should have been a straightforward winner into the net and Barty then hit an ace to hold.

When the failure to convert that opening rattled Rybakina, the Wimbledon champion ruthlessly took advantage to put herself in a match-winning position.

Barty carved out a break point opportunity of her own in the next game that she immediately converted. From there the Australian took command.

Rybakina’s difficulties grew early in the second set, a double fault handing Barty another break in the opening game.

Barty, who has not dropped serve since doing so against Coco Gauff in the tournament’s opening round, chalked up seven straight games with another break, to take a 4-0 lead before closing out a comfortable win.

(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by William Mallard)