Elite Trophy: Ashleigh Barty beats Wang Qiang for biggest singles career title

Madison Keys in Zhuhai

Madison Keys in Zhuhai

Barty, ranked 19th in the world, beat China's Wang Qiang 6-3 6-4 to claim her third WTA title.

And with it comes a projected rise to No.15 in the world when the WTA rankings are released on Monday, positioning her well for an all-important top-16 seeding at January's Australian Open.

"I wasn't aware of that, but that's a really neat way to finish off the year", Barty told reporters after the win.

The Australian served out the set and, after saving a break point for 2-2, she broke Wang for a 4-3 lead before racing to victory.

Barty won her only previous match against Wang in Strasbourg earlier this year.

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A slew of unforced errors handed her opponent the only break of the set and Barty eventually closed out the match on serve with a backhand smash. "Now we get to go home to celebrate that and then prepare for bigger and better things in 2019, starting with the Australian summer".

Ashleigh Barty reached the semifinals for the second straight year after Caroline Garcia upset third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4.

Barty, who took a break from tennis earlier in her career to play cricket, has proved nearly unbeatable when she has won the first set this year as she has solidified her position in the world top 20.

Wang, 26, earned her place in the final by beating Garbine Muguruza on Saturday, having been drafted in to play the semi-final after Madison Keys withdrew with a knee injury.

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