'On another level': Telling statistic in Ash Barty domination

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Ash Barty celebrates her victory over Angelique Kerber at the Cincinnati Open.
Ash Barty defeated Angelique Kerber to win through to the final of the Cincinnati Open. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Ash Barty has banked another straight sets victory over a key rival ahead of the US Open, defeating Angelique Kerber to win through to the Cincinnati Open final.

The Aussie world No.1 completely outclassed Kerber in the 6-2 7-5 victory, taking just over an hour to claim her WTA-best 39th win this year.

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In a reprise of their Wimbledon semi-final last month when Barty also came out on top in straight sets, the Queenslander soon seemed to have a measure of control in this sixth meeting with 33-year-old Kerber as she raced through the first set in 27 minutes.

She'd reeled off six straight games when Germany's three-time grand slam winner, who'd begun to seem a little deflated, showed her steel and finally took advantage of a seeming dip in Barty's form and concentration levels to break her twice.

The Wimbledon champ, though, regained her equilibrium and struck for her crucial fifth break of Kerber's delivery in the 12th game to make it into her sixth final of the season without so far having dropped a set all week.

The Aussie will on Sunday now shoot for a fifth title of what she calls her "grand adventure" of a season against Swiss Jil Teichmann, who defeated Barty's opponent from the Wimbledon final, Karolina Pliskova, to win through to her first WTA final.

"I feel like I'm playing well at the moment," said a delighted Barty, who really does seem to possess the precision and clear thinking at the moment that puts her a cut above her opponents.

"We have been able to execute game plans well. I feel like I'm moving well, and I've got control of the ball. That's all I can ask of myself."

On social media, hype continued to build around Barty's form heading into the US Open.

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Barty improved her record against Kerber to 4-2 with the impressive victory in Cincinnati, an impressive effort to bounce back after a disappointing journey at the Tokyo Olympics.

"It's never, ever a walk in the park against Angie, she's an exceptional competitor and I think early on in that second set she lifted and went into another gear and it took me a few games to go with her," Barty said.

"In the two games I got broken, she just saw too many second serves and was able to be assertive. So I'm really happy to get through, and to be playing for a title here in Cincinnati is awesome."

Barty's form, after the disappointment of her first round defeat at the Olympics, has resembled her fairly clinical domination at Wimbledon as she hammered another 29 winners and 12 aces against Kerber.

She's now won 15 of her last 16 tour matches and this was her 39th WTA win this year - a tour-leading figure - which left Kerber reflecting: "She has so much confidence right now. She plays so well, served good and this is also a big weapon from her.

"She's just playing really like tricky, as well. She knows where to put the ball and how to play in the moments where it's really important. You know, that's why she's where she is."

Barty will face a serious challenge in the final against Teichmann, who upset Naomi Osaka earlier in the tournament to kick-start her impressive run to the final.

The Swiss star defeated world No.4 Karolina Pliskova in their semi-final to set up the clash with Barty.

With AAP

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