In her first tournament in her return to competitive tennis, world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty defeated Garbine Muguruza in the Yarra Valley Classic final on Sunday, in Melbourne. The top seed won in straight sets 7-6(4), 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes.
Going into the match, Muguruza had looked to be in imperious form as she hadn’t conceded a single set throughout the preliminary rounds and had merely lost 10 games collectively across them. In the final, too, the former world no.
1 imposed herself early on and even had a chance to serve for the opening set in the 10th game but was pegged back by Barty. The second set was closely fought once again before Barty broke Muguruza’s serve in the ninth game and served it out comfortably in the following game.
Yarra Valley Classic: Ashleigh Barty's winning ways
Post-match, speaking about her win, Barty said, “It was some of the better tennis I played throughout the whole week. Garbine forced me to play at that level. It was a great final.
Today I had to try and neutralize as best I can, then get on the front foot as soon as I could. It's not always just about the tennis sometimes, it's about how you can control the court. I felt like I moved great today and was able to squeeze the court a lot of the times, make Garbine press a little bit, which was an important part of the match”.
This was Barty’s second title at home, in Australia since her win at the 2020 Adelaide International. The 2019 French Open champion will begin her Australian Open campaign on Tuesday against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic.
Muguruza will also start her Australian Open bid on Tuesday against Russian Margarita Gasparyan. Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara won the doubles title at the Yarra Valley Classic defeating the Russian-Slovakian duo of Anna Kalinskaya and Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-3, 6-4.