Australia's Barty wins Kuala Lumpur, cracks Top 100

07 March, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Ashleigh Barty through to the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open

"It's a tribute to all the work we did in the offseason, and a year ago, coming back".

Barty, who had to endure qualifying just to make the main draw eased past Chinese player Xinyun Han 6-3 7-5 to make her first singles final on tour. It hasn't quite been 12 months since I started playing singles again.

"I was just so happy to come out and play some good tennis today", Barty said.

The 20-year-old Australian qualifier, who had never reached the semi-final stage at this level before the tournament in Kuala Lumpur, confidently downed the Japanese 6-3 6-2 to get her hands on the trophy. I don't think I could have physically have played any more matches.

With the win Barty rose from 158 to No. 92 on the WTA rankings.

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"Even if we didn't walk away with a title it would have been a fantastic week".

The win secures her a spot in the world's top 100, guaranteeing direct entry for grand slam events.

Having racked up almost a million dollars in prize money before her 18th birthday, she stunned Australia with her decision to walk away from the sport after the 2014 US Open, seeking a more normal life.

Although her return to tennis has curtailed her budding cricket career, Barty is still mad for the game.

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