Ash Barty defeats Kerber, through to Western & Southern Open final

The best women's tennis player in the world inched one step closer to her first career Western & Southern Open title. 

World No. 1 Ash Barty has been mesmerizing this week, implementing a confident and composed game at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason,  and Saturday on Center Court it was the same story for the Australian star in a 6-2, 7-5 win over Angie Kerber that moves Barty through to her first career W&S Open final. 

"I feel like I'm playing well at the moment," Barty said. "We have been able to execute game plans well. I feel like I'm moving well, and I've got control of the ball. That's all I can ask of myself." 

More:Top seeds Medvedev, Barty roll easily into Western & Southern Open quarterfinals

Barty's made her run to the final without dropping a set, although there was a touch of drama she had to navigate on Saturday in a match that was a rematch from last month at Wimbledon when Barty defeated Kerber in a semifinal on her way to winning her second career Major. 

Ashleigh Barty, of Australia, returns to Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during the WS Open tennis semi-final match on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Mason.

For about four service games on Saturday under the Cincinnati summer sun, the tennis was level. Each side was in control until Barty dominated on one of Kerber's service games for the first break point of the match, and minutes later, Barty did it again to take the first set, 6-2.

It seemed like Barty had the match in a headlock when she opened the second set with another break point to go up 2-0. 

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