World No.1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia continued her stellar season Sunday, notching her tour-leading fifth WTA singles title of the year by winning the Western & Southern Open for the first time.
Barty ended the run of World No.76 Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-1 to collect her 13th career WTA singles title. With the victory, Barty becomes the first player to hit 40 match-wins this season.
In 1 hour and 13 minutes of play, Barty carved past the wildcard, handing Teichmann her first loss to a player against the Top 10 this season. Teichmann had been 4-0 against that group in 2021.
PERFECTION 👑— wta (@WTA) August 22, 2021
🇦🇺 @ashbarty completes her week in Cincinnati without dropping a set to claim a 13th career title!#CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/qRjsrv3JBM
However, despite the loss, Teichmann has had an outstanding run through the event, knocking out Top 5 players Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic en route to the final.
Stat corner: For the majority of the match, Barty was impenetrable on serve. She slammed eight aces and won 85 percent of points behind her first service. Barty broke serve five times and was broken only once, at the end of the encounter.
Barty will now ease into her 83rd straight week at World No.1 on Monday, her 90th week overall at the top of the WTA singles rankings.
𝑊𝑖𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑑 💥@ashbarty | #CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/ZESmZr9sRt— wta (@WTA) August 22, 2021
Key moments: After coming close to an early break at 1-0, Barty took the lead for good at 4-3 in the opening set, drawing netted errors from Teichmann to move ahead 5-3. After a double fault in the next game, Barty won an outrageous rally with a passing winner to lead 30-15, and she wrapped up the one-set lead from there with two stellar serves.
Read more: Wear it like Ashleigh Barty
Barty reeled off eight straight games to lead 5-0 before Teichmann mounted a brief comeback, breaking Barty for the first time when the Aussie served for the match. But Barty quickly regrouped, setting up match point with a forehand off of a Teichmann drop shot, then converting her first chance after a Teichmann forehand flew long.
A week to be insanely proud of, @jilteichmann 👏👏#CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/69HqWZxx16— wta (@WTA) August 22, 2021
Notable quotes: "Today against Jil, I feel like I was able to really trust myself and play with confidence, get after the ball, be aggressive and get a bit of a run on, which was going to be important in a big final," Barty said during her post-match press conference.
"I think we're just excited that we've got matches under our belt in tough conditions here in Cincy, and that's put us in really good stead going into New York."
Adding the iconic Rookwood Cup to her trophy cabinet...— wta (@WTA) August 22, 2021
Your 2021 @CincyTennis champion 🏆@ashbarty | #CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/MRFbqY33ne
Next up: After a week off, Barty will head into the US Open as the top seed. She will be seeking her second consecutive Grand Slam title, and third overall, following her triumph at Wimbledon last month.
"Our practice weeks before Grand Slams are quite normal," Barty said. "There is nothing fancy, no extra emphasis on anything. It's just gauged by how I'm feeling physically, how I'm feeling mentally, and we have had a lot of practice now as a team in being able to read each other and what we think is required, and then it's about going out there for the first round, whether it's the Monday or Tuesday, and try to do the best that I can. That's all I can ask of myself."