Aussie World No.1 Ash Barty has won her second Adelaide International tournament and 14th WTA title with a ruthless straight sets victory over Kazakhstan No.7 seed Elena Rybakina in the Adelaide International 1 on Sunday.
Barty won 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted just 64 minutes.
It was the perfect day for Barty who also won the women’s doubles championship with fellow Aussie and former housemate Storm Sanders over No.3 seeds Croatian Darija Jurak-Schreiber and Slovenian Andreja Klepac 6-1, 6-4 in just 61 minutes.
Barty was understandably delighted after her win against Rybakina and feels like she is improving with every match.
“We’ve obviously had a brilliant week been able to work progressively through each match, I got better and better,” Barty said.
“I felt today there were really a few key moments early in the first set to gain momentum.
“I was really happy to be able to get a couple of early breaks in the second and run away with it.”
In the perfect lead up to the Australian Open, the 2020 Adelaide International champion put on a powerful display of serving and superb groundstrokes.
In Rybakina’s first final since Strasbourg in September 2020 she had her moments in the final but was not able to have the same damage which she had in her straight-sets semi-final victory over Japan’s Misaki Doi when she led the winners 32-16.
For the third consecutive match, Barty did not lose a game on serve and has sent an ominous warning to the rest of the women’s draw at Melbourne Park.
With some quality rallies mixed with strong serving between the two, games were on serve in the first six games.
In the seventh game, the match quickly turned on the back of a crucial hold of serve by Barty.
Rybakina had two breakpoints, however, Barty stayed strong on serve including a brilliant ace when down 30-40 and went on to win the game and lead 4-3.
Barty went on to win the next two games and take the first set 6-3.
Barty’s momentum continued early in the second set as she broke Rybakina’s serve to lead 1-0.
Up 40-30, a superb forward winner down the line by Rybakina took it to deuce.
Barty’s serve was too good though and with an ace on game point, the Aussie held serve to lead 2-0.
Rybakina was up 40-30 in the third game but an unforced error when going for a winner down the line took it to deuce.
Barty took her opportunity and with a superb forehand down the line winner, she took it to advantage and went to win the game and lead 3-0.
The Aussie World No.1 held serve and with a 4-0 lead, the championship was in her grasp.
With all the pressure on her, Rybakina held serve to make it 5-2.
Barty served for the set and maintained her composure to go on and win the second set 6-2 and is a real chance now to win her first-ever Australian Open.
It was a cracking men’s final for the Adelaide International 1 in the battle of the top two seeds with No.1 seed Gael Monfils reigning supreme against Russian Karen Khachanov to take his 11th ATP career title
In the first meeting between the two, it was two breaks on serve which proved to be the difference as Monfils outlasted the former World No.8 Khachanov 6-4, 6-4.
Monfils at the age of 35 is still one of the fittest players on tour and showed that he still can keep up in the long rallies which he was able to do against his Russian opponent.
Speaking post-match, Monfils praised his wife Elina for being such a big support to him during tough times in 2021 and was ecstatic to play in front of a big crowd.
“We come back strong,” Monfils said.
“I want to thank my wife, Elina; she has been there always.
“It was a really, really tough last year for me, almost — not wanting to quit — but (I’d) lost the faith a little bit about tennis and she was there and always caring.
“That’s why I’m waking up every morning to play in front of a full crowd, good spirit, good atmosphere, this is amazing, this is great memories, thank you so much.”
The first eight games were on serve, Khachanov did have two break points in the fifth game, however, he did not make the most of the opportunity.
At 15-40 down, Monfils won four points in a row to take the game.
The turning point coming in the 10th game on Khachanov’s serve, up 40-30 he double-faulted and Monfils took the chance and eventually the first set 6-4.
The second set was another arm wrestle with some superb rallies between the top two seeds, once again it was Monfils that took his chance.
In the tenth game and with the games on serve at 5-4, it was Monfils who broke Khachanov’s serve again and went on to win the second set and the championship.
Earlier men’s doubles Indian pair Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan caused a big upset when they defeated No.1 seeds Ivan Dodig (Croatia) and Marcelo Melo (Brazil) in the final of the Adelaide International 1 in straight sets 7-6, 6-1.