Barty party continues in Malaysia with victory over Han

By Alex Fisher 4 March 2017 159
Barty party continues in Malaysia with victory over Han

Qualifier Ashleigh Barty's sensational run at the Malaysian Open continued on Saturday as she booked her maiden WTA Tour final with victory over Han Xinyun.

Little was expected of Barty ahead of the tournament in Kuala Lumpur, but she battled her way into the last four and again showed her quality to cruise into the final with a 6-3 7-5 win.

The 20-year-old made swift work of her higher-ranked opponent with a late break in both sets, the Australian converting her third match point to progress.

She will meet Nao Hibino in Sunday's showpiece after the world number 106 came from a set down to beat Magda Linette 2-6 6-4 6-4.

Linette dominated the end of the opening set, winning four successive games to move ahead, but seeing out the match proved too much as Hibino rallied.

The Japanese saved six break points in the second set before levelling the semi-final, and in the decider she quickly took control to give her a chance of a second title - the last coming in Tashkent in 2015.

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Alex Fisher