Canada eliminates defending ATP Cup champions Russia to prepare for Spain final

Ash Barty beat Elena Rybakina in straight sets to win the Adelaide International Title, while Simona Halep won the silverware in Melbourne.

World number one and favorite Barty won 6-3 6-2 over Rybakina to win Adelaide’s title for the second time in three seasons.

The 25-year-old recovered from 40-15 in Game 7 and immediately got the only break in the first set.

Barty didn’t look back as she held through the second set, meaning she played 35 straight games without losing serve to wrap up the tournament.

After clinching a 14th WTA singles title in just over an hour, Barty is now focused on next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic before starting his Australian Open campaign.

“I feel great heading into an Australian Open like I have done every year,” said Barty, who hit 17 winners out of 13 unforced errors, after knocking out Rybakina.

“Each preparation is unique. We take it for what is coming and what it is, let’s go ahead, try to do our best at every opportunity.

“It has absolutely no effect on how I prepare or how I think going forward just because it’s a Grand Slam. It doesn’t change for us.”

Halep, one of Barty’s likely rivals for the Australian Open crown, also had a good start to the year, beating Veronika Kudermetova in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final.

The number two seed, who aims to leave last year’s injury-ravaged and trophy-less season behind, came out on top 6-2 6-3.

She recovered from an early failure in the first set and again in the second to win 23 career titles, and a first since the 2020 Italian Open.

However, that could easily have been another story, as Kudermetova had three break points to take the 3-0 lead in the second set, but the Russian couldn’t take full advantage.

Amanda Anisimova defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the Melbourne Summer Set 2 final to win the first WTA title of the season and her second overall.

Belarusian qualifier Sasnovich fought back in style to win the second set 6-1 after losing the first set 7-5, but Anisimova recovered from a breakdown to advance the deciding set 6-4.

In doing so, Anisimova became the first American to win a title on Australian soil since Sofia Kenin’s triumph at the Australian Open in 2020.

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