Barty targets birthday double in Stuttgart

·2-min read

World No.1 Ash Barty can gift herself a 25th birthday weekend to remember by unwrapping not one but two titles at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Barty, who reached her quarter-century milestone on Saturday, will take on Aryna Sabalenka in the singles final on Sunday before returning to the court with partner Jennifer Brady for the doubles title match against US pair Desirae Krawczyk and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

If she succeeds in taking home both trophies, Barty will be the first player since Lindsay Davenport in 2001 to sweep the singles and doubles in Stuttgart.

Sabalenka brushed aside former world No.1 Simona Halep 6-3 6-2 in a powerful semi-final display to set up what will be her seventh head-to-head with Barty.

The players have each won three of those previous clashes, with their most recent meeting going the Australian's way in three sets less than a month ago in the quarter-final of the Miami Open.

Barty went on to take the title in Florida, and she heads into the Stuttgart showpiece on the back of two straight come-from-behind victories.

Having edged past Karolina Pliskova in a three-set quarter-final, Barty found herself down a set and 2-4 in the second-set tiebreak, against world No.5 Elina Svitolina in the semi.

She rallied to win 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, before returning to the court alongside Brady to beat Vivian Heisen and Wang Yafan 6-1 7-5 and earn a place in the doubles final.

It has been a tough schedule for the seemingly indefatigable Barty, but world No.7 Sabalenka is not convinced tiredness will come into play in the final.

"She has enough power, so she will be there tomorrow, 100 per cent," the Belarusian said after her triumph over Halep on Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to this final and I will do everything I can."

For Barty, victory in Stuttgart would bring her second clay court tournament win after the French Open in 2019.

The birthday girl is not expecting any gifts from her big-hitting 22-year-old opponent.

"She's got exceptional power," Barty said of Sabalenka.

"She's able to control the ball from first strike off the serve or, alternatively, off the return as well.

"We've had some brilliant matches.

"The challenge for me is to try and get into as many points as I can and try and in a way bring in some variety.

"Ultimately, all the time, it's not going to be completely in my control and I just have to accept that."

The women's singles final in Stuttgart is scheduled to start at 10pm AEST on Sunday.