Following an early loss in Brisbane, Ashleigh Barty arrived in Adelaide determined to pick up the form ahead of the Australian Open and chase the first title on the home soil. The crowd favorite didn't play her best tennis all the time but it was enough in the end to go all the way and lift the eighth WTA title and the first in Australia, beating the young gun Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 25 minutes.
Last year in Miami, Ashleigh toppled Dayana en route to the title and she repeated that today as well, dropping 17 points in ten service games and fending off two out of three break chances to mount the pressure on the youngster who couldn't deliver the level from the previous rounds, hitting only seven winners and 12 unforced errors to lose her usual drive and momentum on the court.
Chasing her first Premier title, Yastremska landed a backhand down the line winner for a hold at love in the first game, not staying at the same pace for too long as Ashleigh broke her at love in the third game following a forehand drive-volley error from the Ukrainian.
Barty confirmed the break with another comfortable hold that pushed her 3-1 in front, wasting a break chance in the next game but firing a service winner to gain a 4-2 advantage. Unable to find the momentum in her games, Yastremska suffered another break following a forehand error to fall 5-2 down before Barty held at love with a service winner for a 6-2 after 30 minutes.
With nothing working in her favor, Dayana dropped serve again at the beginning of the second set when her backhand landed long, finally finding some range on the return to pull the break back in game four and level the score at 2-2.
A backhand down the line winner sent the Ukrainian 3-2 in front and she was back in the business, making another good hold in game seven and creating a break chance in the next game that could have sent her closer to the set.
Ashleigh saved it with a forced error, saving another break chance thanks to a loose backhand from Yastremska and creating an opportunity on the return in the next game. Dayana denied it with a perfect serve down the T line but it wasn't to be for her next time she served, suffering a break at love at 5-5 to send Barty closer to the finish line.
Serving for the title, Barty hit three winners to seal the deal in style, taking the last ten points to secure the first title in front of the home fans.