Ashleigh Barty’s brilliant run at the Sydney International fell at the final hurdle.
Ashleigh Barty’s brilliant run at the Sydney International fell at the final hurdle.Source: AFP

Ashleigh Barty’s dreams of a maiden home title have been crushed by Petra Kvitova in the Sydney International, beaten in a three-set epic 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-3).

After Barty shot out of the blocks in the first set and led the deciding set 3-0, world No.8 Kvitova fought back time and time again in the 2hr 19min classic while battling fatigue to claim her second Sydney crown.

Forced to serve to stay in the match at the end of the second set, Czech No.5 seed Kvitova fought back to break Barty for the first time to take the set and send it to a decider.

Both women broke each other three times in the third set, including back-to-back efforts from Barty as Kvitova served for the championship twice. Kvitova’s experience finally paid off as she powered home in the tiebreaker to claim her 26th WTA tour victory.

Petra Kvitova yells in delight after winning the second set.
Petra Kvitova yells in delight after winning the second set.Source: AP

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A frustrated Alex de Minaur has hit out at Australian Open organisers for scheduling his first round match less than 48 hours after the Sydney International final.

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De Minaur qualified for the final against Andreas Seppi by defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon, 6-3 6-2, in 34 degree heat on Saturday afternoon.

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But that semi-final was delayed because of rain on Friday, forcing de Minaur to play the final just five hours later on Saturday evening.

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Then the day one Australian Open schedule was released, which sees de Minaur face Portugal’s Pedro Sousa on Show Court 1, likely at 3pm on Monday.

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“What’s more annoying is me having to play on Monday at the Australian Open and not getting helped out as a fellow Aussie at your home Slam,” de Minaur said.

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“I think they’re punishing Aussies for playing deep in their home tournaments, and I think that should not be what they should be doing.”

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De Minaur was asked if he had requested a postponement from Tennis Australia of his first round match, which is on Monday like the rest of his side of the draw.

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“Yeah, I mean they came out with the schedule before they even saw the halves or saw who was in the finals the week prior,” he said.

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“I think that’s pretty poor.”

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The issue for de Minaur is that to ensure he is fully prepared for the opening grand slam of the season, he would have to pull out of the final of his home tournament.

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“It was quite hot out there,” de Minaur said after his semi-final win over Simon.

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“It was pretty brutal condition, it’s probably the hottest day we’ve had, very humid as well.

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“Long rallies, pretty taxing, but this is what I do the hard work for, to go out there and back it up.”

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