Home favorite Ashleigh Barty takes on 2014 finalist Angelique Kerber in an all-unseeded final at the Sydney International, while Elise Mertens seeks to defend her title at the Hobart International against Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Alex Macpherson
January 12, 2018


KEN ROSEWALL ARENA (starts at 5pm)

Ashleigh BARTY (AUS) vs Angelique KERBER (GER)


CENTRE COURT (starts at noon)

Mihaela BUZARNESCU (ROU) vs [2] Elise MERTENS (BEL)


Angelique Kerber and Ashleigh Barty have played twice before - matches that bookended the German's 2017 season. In her first match of the year, she beat Barty 6-3 2-6, 6-3 in the second round of Brisbane - and in her last match of the year, she lost to the Australian 6-3, 6-4 in the round robin stages of the Zhuhai Elite Trophy.

Kerber, playing her first final since Monterrey last April, is aiming for her first title since the 2016 US Open and her eleventh overall (ninth at Premier level or above). Barty will be shooting for her second career title and first at Premier level, having lost her two previous Premier finals in Birmingham and Wuhan last year to Petra Kvitova and Caroline Garcia respectively.

? #wta #hobart

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Elise Mertens is looking to become the first ever two-time champion at the Hobart International. She is the seventh two-time finalist in the tournament's history, joining Mana Endo (winner in 1994, runner-up in 1996); Dominique Van Roost (winner in 1997, runner-up in 1998); Chanda Rubin (winner in 1999, runner-up in 2000); Rita Grande (runner-up in 1999, winner in 2001); Amy Frazier (runner-up in 2003, winner in 2004); and Mona Barthel (winner in 2012, runner-up in 2013).

Elise Mertens has won both of her previous encounters with Mihaela Buzarnescu - both in clay ITF $25,000 events in 2015, in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy and Koksijde, Belgium.

Tomorrow will be Mihaela Buzarnescu's first final at WTA level. The Romanian is 22-7 in ITF finals in a record stretching back to 2004 - and in her breakthrough season last year, compiled a 7-2 record in finals, including her biggest ever title at the Poitiers $100,000 event in November, where she beat Alison Van Uytvanck in the final. Since last June, Buzarnescu's win-loss record is 62-12 - and following her WTA-level debut at the US Open, she has gone 33-6.