Dominant Angelique Kerber to face Ashleigh Barty in Sydney final

Camila Giorgi

Giorgi, belying her ranking of world number 100, had defeated US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round, ousted twice Wimbledon and former Sydney champion Petra Kvitova and raced past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2 in the last eight.

It is an impressive start to the new year for Kerber, having won her four matches at last week's mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her three victories in Sydney.

Kerber, who began a year ago as No.1 before finishing at No.22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovakia Dominika Cibulkova.

"I felt great yesterday; I felt like I played my best tennis probably all year".

Barty, ranked No.19 in the world, held serve just once in the first set but found her groove thereafter as the 25th-ranked Gavrilova slowly struggled in the heat.

Ashleigh Barty is set to hit the Australian Open in career-best form after advancing to the Sydney International final with a three-set defeat of countrywoman Daria Gavrilova.

Kerber started 2017 ranked world number one but by the end of the season had slumped to 21, and she headed into the Sydney event ranked 22.

Ashleigh Barty has described her dream run into the Sydney International final as the ideal preparation for next week's Australian Open grand slam.

"It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's ideal preparation for next week".

"I'm just looking forward to have a lot of matches before going to Melbourne, and now I have another one".

In men's semifinals, Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev booked a spot in the final by upsetting fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The 84th-ranked Medvedev came back from a set down to move within one win of what would be his maiden ATP title against rising Australian star Alex de Minaur. "I'm very happy with my performance". "Sometimes I was thinking, 'OK, why am I missing serves?' Like I thought my ball toss was good, and I was driving with legs, but just the contact wasn't.it just felt like the ball was just getting away".

Eighteen year old de Minaur continued his extraordinary run of results in the lead-up to the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.

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