Kerber keeps going ahead of Barty battle

Kerber to play Barty in Sydney WTA final

BC-TEN-Sydney International, 188 Angelique Kerber wins 8th match in a row, into Sydney finalAP Photo XRR129, XRR105, XRR103, XRR128Eds: With AP Photos.

Ashleigh Barty has defeated compatriot Daria Gavrilova to reach the Sydney International final.

"It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's flawless preparation for next week", Barty said after her win.

The result marked the eighth successive singles win for Kerber, whose 2018 resurgence should ensure a quality showdown against Australia's rapidly rising star.

The Ipswich product responded by reeling off the first three games of the second, but each time Gavrilova fought back, Barty continued to make inroads into her serve.

The Queenslander won 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 against a fiery Gavrilova, who struggled to find any consistency with her serve, and who earned a code violation for racquet abuse when frustrations boiled over.

"I think it's unbelievable for Sydney and for Australian tennis - we're gonna have an Aussie in the final, which is awesome", Barty said after her win at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

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"Against Dash, she's a world-class returner and puts pressure on you right from the get-go".

"I'm still able to win tennis matches".

"To win here six matches in a row, to be in my second ATP final, to have the chance to get the title is incredible feeling".

But could it free the world No.42 to produce her best performance at Melbourne Park in years?

"It's been a pleasure playing here this week and it's nice getting a bit of confidence going into our biggest tournament for us", Barty said after the match.

"We have set up a ideal platform for me to work with this year to try and go deep in tournaments, whether it's in Australia or in Europe or in the States". A former finalist, she lost to qualifier Pironkova in 2014, Kerber could become the first German to win the title in Sydney as Bunge and Huber, the only other compatriots to reach the final here, were runner up in 1979 and 1993.

"There is nothing better than playing at home, playing in front of a home crowd".

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