Barty, Mertens victorious at Australian Open warm-ups

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Ashleigh Barty and Elise Mertens claimed titles at the new WTA 500 tournaments organized at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open.

Despite being away from the tour for almost a year, the world No.1 Barty confidently went all the way to the Yarra Valley Classic title, beating fellow former major champion Garbine Muguruza 7-6(3) 6-4 in Sunday’s final. The sixth-seeded Muguruza had conceded just ten games through four previous matches this week and was the first to go up a break in the final, but couldn’t maintain that standard as the Australian clinched her ninth career WTA singles title and second on home soil.

Following a first-round bye, Barty fired 22 winners to dispatch No.93 Ana Bogdan 6-3 6-3, then defeated No.52 Marie Bouzkova 6-0 4-6 6-3 in the third round, No.60 Shelby Rogers also pushed her to three sets in the quarterfinals 7-5 2-6 10-4, while Serena Williams gave her a day off by withdrawing from their semifinal.

At the Gippsland Trophy, Belgian Elise Mertens defeated Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-4 6-1 to win her sixth WTA career title and third in Australia.

The Melbourne Summer Series trophies have been designed by local Indigenous artists. Barty’s Yarra Valley Classic trophy features a wombat (animal), while Mertens’ represents a combat and defense shield (malgarr) which depicts a koala who likes to sit high in the safety of eucalyptus trees.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The general consensus here in Australia is that the wombat trophy is pretty weird, despite the fact that we love our wombats.

  2. CLT, when I first saw the trophies I was like ‚ÄúWhoa, what is this?‚ÄĚ After a few moments, I grew to like the wombat trophy. The shield trophy, though, is too weird.

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