BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL FINAL
Ashleigh Barty has been denied the Brisbane International doubles crown, missing a match point with Kiki Bertens as top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova pinched the title.
Australia's world No.1 singles player reminded home fans of her doubles pedigree as the unseeded pair got within a point of the title in the second-set tiebreaker.
But Barty's clutch serving and deft hands weren't enough as the Wimbledon champions prevailed 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 10-8 on Pat Rafter Arena.
"A couple points here and there ... that's the beauty and the beast in this kind of format .. it's kind of on a knife's edge, it can change really quickly," Barty said.
Barty had lost her second-round singles match to qualifier Jennifer Brady - her first match of the year after a first-round bye.
Her doubles run meant the Queenslander still earned about $65,000 at the tournament despite her early singles exit, all of which she pledged to donate to the Red Cross Fire Appeal.
"With everything that's been going on in Australia, the way that everyone's come together's been incredible and all and all I'm bloody proud to be an Aussie," Barty said at the trophy presentation.
All four players in the doubles final will compete in the Adelaide International singles draw, where Barty is top seed in her final hit-out before the Australian Open from January 20.
It's something world doubles No.1 Strycova hopes to see more of.
"It's also good for the tour and for the people, because doubles can be really enjoyable and exciting for the people," she said.
"It was a really entertaining match for us and I ... could feel that the people enjoyed it a lot.
"I was very surprised that so many people came today - well, not surprised, because Ash was playing."