Tennis world No.1 Ash Barty has become the first Australian to win the Cincinnati Masters title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley 48 years ago, claiming her fifth title this season.
The Ngarigo woman faced Jil Teichmann in the final, where she defeated her Swiss opponent 6-3 6-1.
No.1 Ash Barty since returning to the tour after being sidelined for 8 months last year:
Yarra Valley Classic 🏆
Miami Open 🏆
And Olympic bronze in mixed.
Tour leader in match wins (40) and titles (5).
14-1 vs. Top 20. pic.twitter.com/JuV2IzdRDS
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 22, 2021
The 25-year-old is the fourth Australian woman to take out the Cincinnati Masters, which gives her good momentum as she heads into her next tournament in New York.
“I felt like, each match, I got better and better in most parts of my game. I was just excited to get some matches under my belt in some tough conditions, and I think it put us in good stead going to New York,” Barty said.
“Today, I feel like I was able to really trust myself and play with confidence, get after the ball, be aggressive and get a bit of a run on, which was going to be important in a big final.”
In true Barty fashion, after her win she gestured for her team to come onto the court to share the moment with her.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) August 22, 2021
The tournament has come under some scrutiny, reporting that Barty had received less prize money than the men’s champion in Cincinnati.
The women’s cheque was AUD$357,000 while Alexander Zverev, who took out the men’s title, walked away with more than two-and-a-half times that amount at $918,000.
Compared to last year, the total prize money for the women’s competition decreased six per cent, down to $2.96 million overall, while the men’s increased 14.75 per cent to $6.8 million.
Barty now has her sights set on the US Open, starting August 30, where she has never made it past the fourth round.
By Teisha Cloos