Masterful Barty Rolls to Fifth Title of Season in Cincinnati


By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, August 22, 2021


 


Ash Barty charged through nine of the last 10 games dismissing Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-1 to collect her 13th career title in Cincinnati.

Photo credit: Getty

Midway through the second set, Jil Teichmann finally had world No. 1 Ash Barty right where she wanted her—at net vulnerable.

Intercepting the Swiss’ pass, Barty smoothly slid a backhand volley winner to break.

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A masterful Barty burst through nine of the last 10 games dismissing wild card Teichmann 6-3, 6-1 to collect her 13th career in Cincinnati—and solidify her status as the US Open favorite.

Wimbledon winner Barty claimed her Tour-leading fifth title of the season, raising her record to a WTA-best 40-7, including a 19-3 hard-court mark. Shaking off the pain of her Tokyo Olympics opening loss to Sara Sorribes Tormo, Barty regained her stride in Cincinnati. The two-time Miami Open champion did not drop a set in five tournament victories including knocking off three Grand Slam champions in a row: Victoria Azarenka, Barbora Krejcikova and Angelique Kerber before outclassing Teichmann in the final.

Contesting her sixth final in 12 tournaments this year, Barty dominated with her first serve, twisting topspin forehand and the creative variety that kept the wild card off balance.

On a sweltering, sunny Sunday, the top seed was searing on serve. Barty hit eight aces against two double faults, won 18 of 21 first-serve points and faced just two break points in a 73-minute conquest.

Teichmann carried a 4-0 record vs. Top 10 opponents this season into today’s final and showed her class throughout the tournament. Empowered by three straight wins over Top 12 opponents—Teichmann shocked US Open champion on Thursday night, snapped Olympic gold-medal champion Belinda Bencic’s nine-match winning streak in the quarterfinals and defused Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova in yesterday’s semifinals—the Swiss wild card ran out of gas against an opponent who had all the answers from every position on court.

Barty whipped a wide ace holding for 2-1. Teichmann stayed in step through the first six games before Barty caught a higher gear.

The world No. 76 slapped successive shots into the top of the tape ceding Barty the break and a 5-3 lead.

Vision and versatility are Barty assets. She used both dabbing a drop shot then reading the Swiss’ reply and speeding up to a forehand down the line. Barty blistered her fourth ace to close a one-set lead in style winning 11 of 13 points played on her first-serve in the opening set.

The top seed tripled Teichmann’s winner total—16 to 5—and did not face a break point building a one-set lead.

Sustaining her roll to start the second set, Barty hit a forehand drive volley for a fourth break point then beat the Swiss with a backhand return crosscourt breaking to start the second set.

Serving for the match at 5-0, Barty over-cooked a forehand down the line to face double break point. Slamming her eighth ace, Barty saved the first, but flagged a forehand into net on the second as Teichmann snapped her slide eight straight games.

The top seed closed in one hour, 13 minutes and after rising to her first Cincinnati title Barty was in no mood for going downhill fast. Rollercoasters are as appealing to Barty as root canal. Though earlier in the week she suggested she and her team would ride the epic rollercoaster at Kings Island, billed as one of only seven giga coasters in the world, right across the street from the Linder Family Tennis Center, Barty planned a more sedate celebration after taking the title: resting up for New York where a wild ride may await.





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