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Barty’s silver lining from doubles loss

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Tennis: Ash Barty and Kiki Bertens fell just short of clinching the doubles title at the Brisbane International, losing out in three sets to Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei.

Despite her shock early exit in the Brisbane International, Ash Barty raised a considerable sum for the bushfire appeal in the doubles.Source:AAP

World No. 1 Ash Barty lost her doubles final in the Brisbane International on Sunday, but still managed to raise AU$64,400 for the Australian bushfire appeal.

Lastly weekend, Barty pledged to donate her entire prize money from the Brisbane International to the Red Cross Fire Appeal in a stunning act of generosity.

Unfortunately, the Queenslander crashed out of the singles tournament early, suffering a shock straight sets loss to world No. 53 Jen Brady on Thursday.

However, Barty and partner doubles partner Kiki Bertens advanced to Sunday’s final at Pat Rafter Arena, narrowly losing a nailbiter to Wimbledon champions Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova 3-6 7-6 10-8.

At one stage, Barty and Bertens held match point, but couldn’t convert the opportunity.

Ashleigh Barty and Kiki Bertens with their runners up trophy

Ashleigh Barty and Kiki Bertens with their runners up trophySource:AAP

The 2019 French Open Champion showed off all her tricks with deft touches, fine angles and tactical nous.

Barty said that facet of her game wouldn’t carry any extra weight than normal at the year’s first grand slam, but admitted it would always be a much-loved part of her armoury.

“I love doubles and how it changes the geometry of the court and how you have to understand the court differently,” Barty said.

“It presents you with different challenges and I like the way … it tests me to bring out different phases and parts of my game which helps my singles, regardless of where I’m playing next.

“I just love it; you get to serve and return under pressure and transition moving forward.”

Barty’s next stop is the Adelaide International, which begins Monday, before progressing to Melbourne for the highly-anticipated Australian Open.

Ash Barty greets her fans after Sunday’s match

Ash Barty greets her fans after Sunday’s matchSource:AAP

The 23-year-old has a first-round bye in Adelaide and will play Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in her opening match.

PLISKOVA WINS THIRD BRISBANE TENNIS TITLE

Karolina Pliskova has won her third Brisbane International title in four years, defeating American Madison Keys to break new ground at the season-opening event.

The Czech world No. 2 on Sunday became the first player, man or woman, to win the event three times, Pliskova again serving without fear in a 6-4 4-6 7-5 tussle.

The two hour, seven-minute triumph follows a near three-hour semi final victory on Saturday night over Naomi Osaka and comes after Brisbane titles in 2017 and 2019.

Karolina Pliskova kisses her trophy.

Karolina Pliskova kisses her trophy.Source:AFP

Pliskova won a tight first set then jumped ahead with an early break in the second, before Keys launched a comeback similar to the one that propelled her into the decider on Saturday over another Czech Petra Kvitova.

But the second seed didn’t waver, again leaning on her serve and holding her own from the baseline.

A backhand error handed Pliskova a chance to serve out the match, but Keys broke back as the contest went beyond two hours.

History repeated in the following game though, Keys pushing a backhand long to gift the European another break she would not relinquish.

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka had both won two Brisbane titles, as has Brit Andy Murray.

Pliskova is the first to make it three, the 27-year-old set to arrive for the Australian Open in good form as she chases a maiden major title from Monday, January 20th.

With AAP

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