Ashleigh Barty's dream of an ATP title on home soil has come undone at the last hurdle as Angelique Kerber ran away with the Sydney International title.
"The final against Ash was not easy, but I was able to play my game in important moments".
Kerber won her four matches at last week's mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth before her five victories in Sydney.
Barty, who'd been looking to become the first Australian woman to win in Sydney since Alicia Molik in 2005, could convert only one of seven break points, while racking up 38 unforced errors to Kerber's 13.
Kerber, who began past year at the top of the rankings before finishing at No. 22, won her seventh straight match of 2018, including four singles at the Hopman Cup last week.
She managed to overcome compatriot Daria Gavrilova in their semi-final 3-6 6-4 6-2.
Barty's big first serve helped her but Kerber was the more composed and was not put under pressure when the Australian had the chance. "To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of the better tennis that I have this week", Barty said.
"But Angie is on fire. I certainly felt like it was a pretty good level for a final".
"But we will head to Melbourne tonight and do what we need to do over the next couple of days to get ready".