The world no. 8 and the 5th seed Petra Kvitova has won her 26th WTA title in Sydney from 33 finals played, prevailing against a home star Ashleigh Barty 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 in challenging two hours and 19 minutes for her first title here in four years.
Facing each other for the third time and the first since June 2017, two players who have shown the most this week in Sydney had forced each other to the limits in sets two and three, staying neck and neck until the very last point.
Barty led 3-0 in the decider before Kvitova made one last push to cross the finish line first and come victorious in the eighth straight WTA final, heading to Melbourne with positive vibes and hoping for a good run at Major where she played in the semi-final only once before.
Thanks to that opening set, Barty won one point more than her rival and she grabbed six breaks of serve from nine chances she created, facing just one break point in sets one and two but not finding the way to bring the match home before the decider.
Home favorite was the only player on the court in the opening set, playing some excellent tennis on both the serve and return to leave Petra far behind. Ashleigh lost four points in three service games and she forged an early lead after a double fault from Kvitova in the first game of the match.
Covering the court beautifully and taming her rival's shots, Barty scored another break in game three following a deep return and the set was in her hands after just 25 minutes thanks to the third break in game seven.
With a lot of work to be done in the rest of the match if she wanted a positive result, the Czech started to play much better in set number two, holding with ease in the opening five service games just like her rival to stay locked up at 5-5.
The Aussie faced no break points in the first eight service games but that all changed when Kvitova managed to break her in game 11 after some excellent defense, moving 6-5 up and wrapping up the set with a backhand winner in the next game to set up a deciding set.
Barty was the first to strike there, winning four straight points on the return in game two to open up the lead before Petra pulled the break back with a backhand winner in game five, returning to the positive side of the scoreboard.
The Czech secured another break at 4-4 but that wasn't enough to move over the top, suffering a break at 15 in the very next game after a forehand mistake to keep Ashleigh in the match. They traded two more breaks in the last two games to reach the deciding tie break that the more experienced player grabbed 7-3 with a forehand cross court winner in that 10th point to lift the title and extend her winning streak in the WTA finals.
Petra Kvitova (CZE) vs Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 1-6 7-5 7-6(3)