'Unique class': Ash Barty claims title in perfect Australian Open warm-up

Ash Barty (pictured) first pumping after a point.
Ash Barty (pictured) won the Yarra Valley Classic after a brilliant performance against Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. (Getty Images)

World No.1 Ash Barty has started the summer of tennis in perfect fashion after claiming the Yarra Valley Classic against the in-form Garbine Muguruza.

Barty entered the final in unusual circumstances after Serena Williams withdrew from her semi clash with the Aussie.

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While Muguruza entered the final in imperious form having crushed Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-0.

And the first set lived-up to expectations as Barty and Muguruza broke each other twice before the Aussie was able to capitalise and take the first set in a tie-break.

The World No.1 then carried her momentum into the second set and broke Muguruza straight away.

She was able to grind out the second set and claim the Yarra Valley Classic WTA 500 to mark the first title of the year.

The Classic serves as a perfect warm-up ahead of the Australian Open starting on Monday.

Fans were quick to praise Barty’s form, despite playing her first tournament in a year.

Osaka withdraws from semi-final

Earlier on Saturday, Australian Open favourite Naomi Osaka withdrew from her Gippsland Trophy semi-final against Elise Mertens, citing the need to manage a niggling shoulder injury ahead of her Open campaign.

As a result, Mertens has a walkover to the final of the Gippsland Trophy, where she will face Kaia Kanepi, who beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in the other semi-final.

with AAP

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