Ash Barty loses Sydney final in heartbreaking collapse

Ash Barty has lost in the Sydney International final for a second-straight year.

The Aussie young gun looked certain to win her first title on home soil on Saturday, winning the first set 6-1 and serving for the match at 5-4 in the second.

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But she was broken by Petra Kvitova, who broke again to take the second set 7-5.

Barty then stormed to a 3-0 lead in the third, before again letting it slip from her grasp as Kvitova won it in a tiebreaker.

Ashleigh Barty in action. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Nevertheless it was a brilliant week for Barty heading into the Australian Open.

She beat World No.1 Simona Halep on Wednesday, before also beating Kiki Bertens (No.9) and Elise Mertens (No.12) on her way to the decider.

Kvitova fought back time and time again in the 2hr 19min classic while battling fatigue to claim her second Sydney crown.

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 holds the winner’s trophy alongside Ashleigh Barty. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

In turn, it also handed Barty her second straight runner-up finish in Sydney, after losing to Angelique Kerber in last year’s final.

“I left everything out here and it wasn’t quite enough,” Barty said.

Kvitova apologised to Barty and the Sydney crowd for spoiling the Australian’s Sydney party.

“Not to win at home, I’m sorry,” Kvitova said.

“You know, one day you’re going to make it for sure.”

with AAP