The last stop on the WTA tour before the Australian Open will be at the WTA Sydney International 2019. Petra Kvitova and Ashleigh Barty will contest the showpiece final. Kvitova produced a tennis masterclass in the semis to dispatch Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1 6-2 in 66 minutes, while Barty rallied from a set down to defeat Kiki Bertens 6-7 6-4 7-5.
Petra Kvitova is a former champion in Sydney (won in 2015), while Ashleigh Barty finished runner-up last year. This will be the second time that these two women meet with the title on the line. The first time it happened was in Birmingham in 2017, when Kvitova won her first title post-surgery in three sets. The Czech has been impeccable this week. She is yet to drop a set, and her dominant display in the semifinals was a further reminder that she should perhaps be taken very seriously in Melbourne.
Ashleigh Barty, on the other hand, will hope to capture a 4th career title. She has an even 3-3 record in finals. Excluding Hopman Cup matches, Barty is on a 7-match winning streak stretching back to last year at the Zhuhai Elite Trophy. She has also beaten players ranked inside the Top 25 in that span.
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Petra Kvitova vs Ashleigh Barty
Both these two players deserve their places in the final. Barty is on a 7-match winning streak at the moment – which is the longest she has had in her career. Kvitova shrugged off the disappointment of losing in Brisbane with a streak of her own Sydney. She is yet to concede a set and considering the quality of opposition she faced, it is an impressive achievement. I think if Kvitova plays near the level we saw from her against Sasnovich, she will win this at a canter. The ball striking from both wings was incredible. I feel for Barty because it could be back-to-back losses in the finals in Sydney. The Australian has not put a foot wrong, but Kvitova is on another level this week and her record in finals is excellent. She has won 25 out of the last 32 finals so far, including her last seven. I am not writing off Barty’s chances completely. I think it would take a massive drop in performance for Kvitova to allow the Australian a look in. On paper Kvitova is the favorite and based on current form from what I have seen this week, Kvitova should win this.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2
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