Petra Kvitova warmed up for the year's first Grand Slam by coming from behind to beat home favourite Ashleigh Barty 1-6 7-5 7-6 (3) and win her second Sydney International title on Saturday.
Barty led the deciding set 3-0 before Kvitova began a comeback to win her 26th WTA title. That grueling game took its toll, as Barty quickly broke an error-prone Kvitova back for 5-5.
Ashleigh Barty in action.
Both women broke each other three times in the third set, including back-to-back efforts from Barty as Kvitova served for the championship twice.
The world number eight hit her stride in the second, staying within touching distance of Barty until pouncing to take a 6-5 lead with a late break of serve and holding to force a decider. They traded two more breaks in the last two games to reach the deciding tie break that the more experienced player grabbed 7-3 with a forehand cross court victor in that 10th point to lift the title and extend her winning streak in the WTA finals.
Barty was the first to strike there, winning four straight points on the return in game two to open up the lead before Petra pulled the break back with a backhand victor in game five, returning to the positive side of the scoreboard.
Barty withstood 15 aces from Bertens in the 2-hour, 18-minute match to advance to her second consecutive final in Sydney.
"It's awesome - it truly has been a phenomenal week of tennis", Barty said. "One day you're going to make it for sure, so good luck in the Aussie Open and well done this week".
Kvitova apologised to Barty and the Sydney crowd for spoiling the Australian's Sydney party.
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