Sydney - Germany's
former world No 1 Angelique Kerber won her eighth consecutive match on
Friday and will play Australian Ashleigh Barty in the final of the
Kerber, who began last year as No 1 before finishing at No 22,
continued her 2018 resurgence with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi,
ending the Italian qualifier's run of six wins in the tournament.
It is an impressive start to the new year for Kerber, having won her
four matches at last week's mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her
four victories in Sydney.
"Ash is a great player. She played unbelievable last year," Kerber said.
"I played the last match of 2017 against her, so it was not so long ago. I know what to expect."
Barty will play in her first home WTA final on Saturday after she beat compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
It will be the 19th-ranked Barty's second career title and her win
over the 25th-ranked Gavrilova came after a topsy-turvy match that
included 11 breaks of serve.
Kerber and Barty have split their two previous meetings last year
with the Australian winning in Zhuhai, China, and the German winning in
three sets in Brisbane last week.
Barty continued her strong build-up to next week's Australian Open in
Melbourne, where she opens against world No 69 Aryna Sabalenka.
"It's nice to make a final at home, but I think in my eyes it's perfect preparation for next week," Barty said.
"I mean, I'd love to go one further and hold the trophy up here, but I love playing in Australia, I love playing at home.
"It's nice to be able to get a lot of matches here and be rewarded with the final."
Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev upset Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Sydney men's final.
The 84th-ranked Medvedev came back from a set down to move within one
win of what would be his maiden ATP title against rising Australian
star Alex de Minaur.
"I'm very happy, first of all, because life on ATP Tour is not easy.
Every match you win, you're glad to win it, no matter first round,
second, so it goes step by step," Medvedev said.
"To win here six matches in a row, to be in my second ATP final, to
have the chance to get the title is amazing feeling. I'm just motivated
to do it."
Eighteen year old de Minaur continued his extraordinary run of
results in the lead-up to the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win
over Frenchman Benoit Paire.
De Minaur stunned fourth seed Milos Raonic in the second round on his
way to reaching the Brisbane International semi-finals last week before
losing to American Ryan Harrison.
Results from the ATP/WTA Sydney International on Friday (x denotes seed):
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x4) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
Alex de Minaur (AUS) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Ashleigh Barty (AUS) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-2, 6-3