Kvitova comeback denies home favourite Barty

Ashleigh Barty was unable to claim a first WTA Tour title on home soil as she went down to Petra Kvitova in the Sydney International final.

Petra Kvitova poses with the Sydney International trophy, her first title of 2019.   -  Getty Images

Petra Kvitova produced a gruelling comeback to defeat home favourite Ashleigh Barty and win the Sydney International final 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).

Fifth seed Kvitova lost the first set and fought back from 3-0 down in the decider to force a tie-break, where she again had to rally from a losing position to extend her winning run in WTA Tour finals to eight matches.

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The Czech will head into the Australian Open in high spirits having reclaimed a title she last won in 2015.

Australian Barty looked ready to race to victory when she took the opening set after just 26 minutes, a long backhand from Kvitova seeing her drop serve for the third time.

Some powerful groundstrokes were key to Kvitova's recovery, the two-time Wimbledon champion able to break in the 11th game of the second before serving out to level the match, a crisp forehand clipping the baseline to convert her second set point.

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Momentum swung back to Barty but Kvitova managed to restore parity before twice passing up a chance to serve out the match.

Kvitova fell 3-1 behind in the tie-break but again fought her way back and a whipped forehand from out wide wrongfooted Barty and clinched her first title of 2019.

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