It has been a long time (48 years in fact) since an Australian woman had saluted in Cincinatti and if there was one person who could break that drought it was probably going to be our very own World No.1 Ash Barty, who did so this morning at the WTA 1000 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Swiss 76th ranked Jill Teichmann.
A 5th title for 2021 (tour-leading), 40th win for 2021 (tour-leading), 13th career title overall and the perfect lead in to the US Open in a weeks time.
It took Barty just 73 minutes to win the title, ending the giant killing run of Teichmann, which was the Swiss first loss to a player in the top 10 this year. She had been 4-0 including this week defeating Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Belinda Bencic on her way to the final.
The Barty serve was once again a big feature of the match with 8 aces and winning 85% of points behind her first serve. She was only broken once in the 2nd set, but that is when she had the match in her control. She managed to break the Teichmann serve five times for the match.
This week marks Barty's 83rd straight week at World No. 1 and overall her 90th week at the top of the WTA singles rankings.
"Today against Jil, I feel like I was able to really trust myself and play with confidence, get after the ball, be aggressive and get a bit of a run on, which was going to be important in a big final," Barty said, during her post-match press conference.
"I think we're just excited that we've got matches under our belt in tough conditions here in Cincy, and that's put us in really good stead going into New York," the World No.1 continued.
Now, Ash will settle into New York for the next week as she aims to be at her best to try and win the US Open for the first time and claim three of the four majors in her career. Her best performances have come in 2018 and 2019 making the 4th round at Flushing Meadows.
For where she is placed in the game right now, this appears to be her best opportunity (certainly won't be her last). Bring on the US Open.
In some other Aussie news overnight at the ATP 250 in Winston Salem, Alexei Popyrin qualified for the main draw with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win, Max Purcell unfortunately didn't join him going down to the experienced Denis Kudla 4-6, 7-5, 2-6. James Duckworth lost a nail biter in the first round 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 to tough Brazilian leftie Thiago Monteiro and Nick Kyrgios pulled out at the last minute of his highly anticipated first round match with Andy Murray as the players were about to walk out. He has been struggling with a knee injury but no official reason was given.
Remember South Australian Li Tu, who got the wildcard into the Australian Open back in February and pushed former world number 12 Feliciano Lopez to four sets. He has gone on the road for the first time in 2021 having played a lot of UTR tennis here in Australian since February and won his opening qualifying match for the ITF 15K in Monastir that moves him to a 39/5 record in all matches played.
Listen to The First Serve, tonight at 7pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
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