Championship Match:  Karolina Pliskova (CZE) vs.  Ashleigh Barty (AUS)
This would be the fifth career meeting between them, and they were tied at two wins each. Interesting tidbit, they alternated wins in the past and if the trend continued today, Barty was due to win. The two matches that the Australian won, had gone the distance; in contrast, the two matches that Pliskova won, were won in straight sets.
FIRST SET BATTLE
Barty is well known for her doubles prowess as well as the versatility of her game. Today she would have to counter the pace from her opponent and keep the pressure on consistently enough to keep her opponent unbalanced. Barty as well as her opponent would also have to battle the nerves as a victory here would be the biggest career title for either player.
Do not underestimate Pliskova’s ability either, in addition to being a top ten singles player for the past three seasons, she has also won numerous doubles titles with her twin sister. Pliskova broke in the third game after some nervous serving from her opponent; however, the Australian kept fighting and broke back in the sixth game with a forehand winner to even the set at 3-3. They both fought hard to hold their serves after that to send the set to a tiebreak, which was dominated by the Australian.
FATIGUE GOT THE BETTER OF PLISKOVA
The evidence of fatigue showed up in the stats of the Czech player, her first serve percentage fell below fifty percent and she served less aces than her opponent. Not known for her foot speed normally, she was also noticeably slower as the match progressed. It was crucial for Pliskova to win the first set and after losing it so comprehensively in the tiebreak, she had nothing left physically or mentally to fight her way back. The Australian broke early and broke again to win 7-6(1), 6-3 to capture the biggest title of her career along with a new career high ranking on Monday (#9).
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (Julian Finney/Getty Images North America-Ashleigh Barty)