Petra Kvitova downs Ashleigh Barty to claim Sydney title©

Petra Kvitova downs Ashleigh Barty to claim Sydney title

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Petra Kvitova warmed up for the year’s first Grand Slam by coming from behind to beat home favourite Ashleigh Barty 1-6 7-5 7-6(3) and win her second Sydney International title on Saturday. Kvitova, the 2015 champion, surrendered her serve in the opening game and struggled to recover from her poor start, with the Czech’s usually lethal backhand disintegrating amid a flurry of unforced errors in the first set.

The world number eight hit her stride in the second, staying within touching distance of Barty until pouncing to take a 6-5 lead with a late break of serve and holding to force a decider.

“Ash, I know it’s a tough one. For sure, it’s hurting not to win at home,” Kvitova said after closing out the match in two hours, 19 minutes. “One day you’re going to make it for sure, so good luck in the Aussie Open and well done this week.”