SYDNEY (AP) — Paula Badosa claimed her third career title on Saturday when she upset French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
The fifth-seeded Spaniard won a vital mini-break in the third-set tiebreaker to close out the match in 2 hours, 22 minutes.
Badosa used her strong serve to good effect, recording 12 aces including six in a commanding first set.
Third-seeded Krejcikova rallied in the second set, breaking Badosa’s serve twice. Both had a service break in the final set before Badosa got the winning edge in the decisive tiebreaker.
It was another long match for Krejcikova, who outlasted Anett Kontaveit in 2 hours, 30 minutes on Friday.
Badosa improved to 3-0 in WTA tournament finals. The 24-year-old from Spain won titles last year at Belgrade and Indian Wells to finish 2021 ranked ninth.
Krejcikova of the Czech Republic is the No. 4 seed at the Australian Open and will face Andrea Pekovic of Germany in the first round, while the eighth-seeded Badosa meets Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.
At the Adelaide International, unseeded Madison Keys claimed her first WTA Tour singles title since 2019 when she beat Alison Riske 6-1, 6-2 in an all-American final.
The former world No. 7 and 2017 U.S. Open finalist, who has slipped to her current 87th-ranking due to injuries and a form slump in recent years, had overcome a leg injury to beat third-seeded compatriot Coco Gauff 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a semifinal Friday to reach her first Tour final since Brisbane in 2020.
She needed only 66 minutes to beat her regular practice partner in the first all-American final on the WTA Tour since Serena Williams beat Jessica Pegula at Auckland in 2020.
Wielding a powerful forehand from the baseline and moving well, Keys took the first set in under 30 minutes and broke Riske twice in the second set to claim her sixth career title and first since Cincinnati in 2019.
She didn’t offer the 57th-ranked Riske a break point chance while she converted five of nine and hit four aces.
Keys can now turn her attention to the Australian Open where she will face No. 12 Sofia Kenin in the first round. Kenin won the Australian Open in 2020. Riske is drawn to meet Donna Vekic at Melbourne Park.
Two other finals are scheduled among the joint ATP-WTA tournaments in Adelaide and Sydney, including Andy Murray’s first ATP tour final in more two years against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev at the Sydney Tennis Classic.
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