Ashleigh Barty stuns world number one Simona Halep at Sydney International

Barty had previously not taken a set off Halep but took two in a stunning upset of the Belgian

Barty had previously not taken a set off Halep but took two in a stunning upset of the Belgian

Australian star Ashleigh Barty has revealed how she took lessons from defeats at the hands of Simona Halep to eventually topple the Belgian star.

Ashleigh Barty's summer expectations continue to grow, the Queenslander upstaging world No.1 Simona Halep five days out from the Australian Open.

After losing to Halep in their last two encounters previous year in Cincinnati and Montreal, Barty said she had finally learned her lesson.

Halep, playing in her first tournament since a back injury cut short her 2018 season, lost 6-4 6-4 in 87 minutes with the result dealing a blow to her Australian Open preparations.

Barty, who ended a breakthrough 2018 with a WTA title in Zhuhai and is now ranked 15, brought the momentum into the new year.

"She gave me a belting in Montreal and I learnt a little bit more in Cincinnati".

The 22-year-old Barty faces either Elise Mertens or the victor of the first round clash between Anett Kontaveit and Monica Puig in the quarter-finals.

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Cahill had coached Halep for four years.

"It was extremely hard conditions, very swirly down at court level".

"I had nothing to lose out here so I just came out and played with freedom".

"The biggest thing, I believed that I could win".

In all, it was a much more aggressive match from Barty, who struck 26 winners to Halep's nine; while the top seed can typically rely on her consistency, windy conditions likely contributed to the 22 unforced errors she hit over two sets.

She got off to a stellar start, reaching the Australian Open final and went on to win the Shenzhen Open, the Rogers Cup and her debut Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros.

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