World number one Ashleigh Barty reached her sixth final of the season on Saturday as the Australian defeated Angelique Kerber 6-2, 7-5 at the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters.
The top-seeded Aussie, who has led the ranking table for the past 82 weeks, needed an hour and a quarter to move into Sunday’s title match, surpassing her semifinal showing from 2019.
Barty will play for the trophy on Sunday against the winner of a later match between Swiss wild card Jil Teichmann — who beat good friend and Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals — and Czech fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, more than a year and a half without a title.
Against Kerber, Barty increased her lead in the series between multiple Grand Slam winners to 4-2 as she duplicated a Wimbledon semi-final victory from last month.
Barty produced a dozen aces as she broke Kerber five times. Her 39 match wins this year nudge her one ahead of Aryna Sabalenka on the WTA list.
Rajput win hands hosts unassailable 3-1 lead in five-game series after World Cup defeat
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam claims second 10-wicket haul in Tests to help set up 150-run victory
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner tried everything during the match — but nothing worked
The protester was in critical condition, with burn injuries to the body
These babies were born at the stroke of midnight across the UAE as the country marked its National Day