World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty underlined that playing Angelique Kerber is never easy after beating the German at the Cincinnati Masters. Barty, seeded at No. 1, handed Kerber a 6-2 7-5 loss to advance to the Cincinnati Masters final.
The head-to-head between Barty and Kerber now stands on the Australian's way as she has four wins and three losses against the German. “It’s never, ever a walk in the park against Angie, she’s an exceptional competitor and I think early on in that second set she lifted and went into another gear and it took me a few games to go with her,” said Barty, per Tennis Australia.
“Angie won the big points early on in the second set so I was glad I was able to find a way through there in the end. I had to find the balance between being aggressive and not being too passive and not letting Angie dictate.
“In the two games I got broken, she just saw too many second serves and was able to be assertive. So I’m really happy to get through, and to be playing for a title here in Cincinnati is awesome”.
Barty escaped with a straight-set win
The two players were all tied at two games apiece after the opening four games of the match but then Barty claimed back-to-back breaks to finish the first set on a four-game run.
After winning the last four games of the first set, Barty continued her run at the start of the second set as she also won the opening two games of the second set. After losing her serve in three consecutive games, Kerber regrouped and claimed back-to-back to take a 3-2 second set lead.
Unfortunately for Kerber, her lead was short-lived as Barty broke back in the sixth game to level the set at three games apiece. Barty then claimed her fifth break of the match in the 12th game to book a straight-set win.