Barty downs compatriot Gavrilova to reach Sydney final


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Ashleigh Barty overcame a slow start to win her all-Australian semi-final against Daria Gavrilova 3-6 6-4 6-2 and advance to the final of the Sydney International.

The 21-year-old needed one hour, 58 minutes on Friday to see off the challenge of the Russian-born Gavrilova as both players struggled to hold serve throughout the match.

Barty held just once in the first set but reversed the momentum in the second when she broke in the ninth game after Gavrilova double faulted twice, which prompted the 23-year-old to smash her racquet in frustration and earn a code violation.

Barty then broke early in the decider and again in the seventh game to ease to victory and set up a final against either Camila Giorgi or Angelique Kerber.

”I certainly shot myself in the foot with my serve today,“ she said. ”But happy to get through in the end and get another opportunity tomorrow.

“Its been a pleasure playing here this week.”

Gavrilova was playing her third successive Australian opponent in Sydney.

She had already beaten Olivia Rogowska in the first round and former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the second and advanced to the semi-finals after Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza withdrew with a hip injury.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O’Brien

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