Ash Barty has won silverware in Melbourne for the first time with a thrilling win over Garbine Muguruza in the final of the Yarra Valley Classic.
Barty went to another level in the final to down the red-hot Spanish star 7-6 6-4.
The World No. 1 was down early in the first set, but found the answers to unsettle Muguruza, who had not dropped a set all week.
Despite not seeing competitive tennis for more than 11 months, Barty has recaptured the form that saw her emerge as the form player in women’s tennis in recent years.
The 24-year-old secured the crucial break of serve at 4-4 in the second set and in the blink of an eye, she had closed out the match.
Muguruza had not even conceded more than three games in each of the sets she played in Melbourne this week, but Barty forced her into errors. Muguruza hit just 14 winners and coughed up 40 unforced errors.
Barty will enter her first round match at the Australian Open against Danka Kovinic on Tuesday full of confidence as one of the clear favourites to break through for her first win.
Meanwhile, Russia emerged as the ATP Cup champions just seconds after Barty’s win.
Russia didn’t drop a tie in the entire event and secured the event with two singles victories by Danill Medvedev and Aundrey Rublev.
Their wins over Italy’s Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini secured the trophy without the need for the doubles decider.