Ashleigh Barty beats Elena Rybakina to win Adelaide title

Ashleigh Barty has now won 14 WTA singles titles

World number one Ashleigh Barty continued her impressive form before the Australian Open with a straight-set win against Elena Rybakina in the Adelaide International final.

Playing her first tournament since September’s US Open, the Australian won the final 6-3 6-2.

Former Wimbledon champion Simona Halep proved she is back stronger from injury by winning the Melbourne Summer Set.

Emma Raducanu will return to action against Rybakina in Sydney.

The 19-year-old US Open winner was due to face Iga Swiatek at the Sydney Tennis Classic, but the former French Open champion withdrew because of a rib injury.

Barty will also play in Sydney as players continue preparations for the Australian Open, which starts on 17 January.

Halep and Barty make winning returns

Halep could not compete last year at the French Open, Wimbledon or the Tokyo Olympics because of a calf injury but breezed past Veronika Kudermetova in Melbourne, winning 6-2 6-3.

Kudermetova took an early lead in both sets but world number 20 Halep – who is aiming to return to the top 10 – fought back to close out victory in one hour and 14 minutes.

Barty ended her 2021 season early because of coronavirus quarantine rules but looked sharp in her first final of 2022.

After coming from 15-40 down to hold serve at 3-3, the 25-year-old won seven games in a row and wrapped up victory in 64 minutes.

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