Angelique Kerber defeated Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Sydney International to claim her first title since the 2016 US Open.

Kerber ends trophy drought

Kerber ends trophy drought

The German made her breakthrough in 2016, with wins at the Australian Open and Flushing Meadows, but struggled last year, falling to 22nd in the world.

However, she impressed in Sydney, beating the likes of Lucie Safarova, Venus Williams, Dominika Cibulkova and Camila Giorgi before edging out home favourite Barty 6-4 6-4 in the final.

"I am playing amazing tennis again and feeling just great," said Kerber. "It feels very good to win my first title in my first tournament this year. I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash. I feel like I am getting closer to my 2016 level."

Elsewhere, Elise Mertens defended her Hobart International title after a 6-1 4-6 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu.

On a rainy evening in Tasmania, the players were twice forced off court due to the weather as Mertens held her nerve. After spurning a match point on the Buzarnescu serve, she served out for a second career WTA crown.