Published: Tue, March 07, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Ashleigh Barty notches first career title in Malaysia

Ashleigh Barty notches first career title in Malaysia

Qualifier Ashleigh Barty is through to her first WTA final after seeing off Xinyun Han in the Alya Malaysian Open.

The Australian pair hit back from 5-1 down in a first-set tie-break to win 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 against Nicole Melichar and Makoto Ninomiya.

"I think it was very unexpected going into the week".

World No 158 Barty then teamed up with Casey Dellacqua to add the doubles title to her singles crown. "It's a tribute to all the work we did in the offseason, and a year ago, coming back".

"The victory means Barty will break into the world's top 100 for the first time in her career when the updated rankings are released, as she aims to secure a direct route into the final three majors of the year, starting with the French Open in May". It hasn't quite been 12 months since I started playing singles again.

Barty, 20, completed a memorable week in Kuala Lumpur with a 6-3 6-2 win over Japan's Hibino in one hour and 13 minutes.

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.

"We had another Aussie physio with the WTA here this week and all week we were checking the cricket scores", she said.

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