WTA roundup: No. 1 Ashleigh Barty earns ninth title

Yarra Valley Classic

World No. 1 and top seed Ashleigh Barty claimed the Yarra Valley Classic title on Sunday by beating No. 6 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain 7-6 (3), 6-4 in Melbourne, Australia.

It’s the second title in her home country for Barty, who was playing in her first WTA event since February 2020.

The Australian finished with 28 winners and 11 aces in a match that lasted 1 hour, 44 minutes.

“It was some of the better tennis I played throughout the whole week,” Barty said. “Garbine forced me to play at that level. It was a great final.”

Barty, who picked up her ninth career WTA singles title, now owns a 3-1 career edge against Muguruza.

Gippsland Trophy

Seventh-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium eased past unseeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-4, 6-1 to claim the title at the Gippsland Trophy.

Mertens was 4-for-4 on break opportunities in picking up the sixth title of her career.

“The first tournament I played this year, so I’m very happy about the result, the way I played,” Mertens said.

Mertens is now 2-1 against Kanepi, the oldest player in the draw at 35.

Grampians Trophy

Unseeded American Ann Li and No. 6 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia reached the final of the Grampians Trophy event in Melbourne, but won’t get the chance to face off for the title.

Due to delays in the tournament and the imminent start of the Australian Open, officials decided to end the tournament after the semifinal matches.

Li stunned seventh-seeded American Jennifer Brady 7-6 (5), 6-7, 10-6 in one marathon semifinal, while Kontaveit rallied to beat No. 5 Maria Sakkari of Greece 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 in the other.

“Of course I would have liked to have played the final, but it is what it is, and definitely nice to sort of share the trophy,” Kontaveit said of the unorthodox finish.

–Field Level Media

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