Barty, Mertens victorious at Australian Open warm-ups


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.


  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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