(Reuters) – World number one Ash Barty will head to the U.S. Open in peak form after ending Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann’s brave run with a 6-3 6-1 defeat to claim the Western and Southern Open title in Cincinnati on Sunday.
Wimbledon champion Barty will now bid for her third Grand Slam crown and first on hardcourt at New York after humbling major winners Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka and Barbora Krejcikova.
“It’s been an awesome week. I felt like with each match we’re getting progressively better and better in most parts of my game,” the Australian told reporters after clinching her tour-leading fifth title of a stellar 2021.
“Today against Jil I feel like I was able to really trust myself and play with confidence, get after the ball, be aggressive and get a bit of a run-on, which was going to be important in a big final.
“I think we’re just excited that we’ve got matches under our belt in tough conditions here in Cincy, and that’s put us in really good stead going into New York.”
Barty came out of the Tokyo Olympics with a doubles bronze medal and a tinge of disappointment after her quest for singles gold ended with a first-up loss to Sara Sorribes Tormo.
The change of scene in the United States appears to have done wonders, along with a more aggressive mindset on the back of excellent serving.
“I felt like these conditions were going to reward good serving and good first-strike tennis,” said the 25-year-old.
“Even though that’s not necessarily my repertoire all the time, I felt like I wanted to push myself this week to try and be more assertive on my serve.”
World number 76 Teichmann will also head to Flushing Meadows with new confidence in her game after a terrific week, having upset U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)