De Minaur bags first ATP title

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An ice bath, a massage and a private jet ride from Sydney to Melbourne after winning his first ATP title has refreshed Alex de Minaur enough for him to state he is ready to lead the host nation's hopes for the men's title at the Australian Open.

The talented young Australian player claimed the feat after losing two ATP finals a year ago: the Sydney, and Washington opens, in addition to the 2018 Next Generation ATP Finals in the Italian city of Milan.

It came after de Minaur's earlier 1hr 34min 6-3 6-2 victory over Simon, where he never really looked challenged despite temperatures of more than 30 degrees.

Earlier in the evening, Ash Barty went down in three sets to Czech Petra Kvitova in a 1-6 7-5 7-6 (7-3) thriller Sydney International final.

The 23-year-old Sharma, ranked 232 in the world, came through qualifying last week to earn her spot in the main draw and she took advantage of Ho's struggles in the heat during the third set to advance to the second round.

"With the weather in Sydney (on Saturday), he had to play a semi-final and final (on Sunday)", he said.

Composed American Sofia Kenin broke through to clinch her first WTA title Saturday with a straight sets win over Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova at the Hobart International.

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"I'm really happy to have won".

"I'm extremely proud of myself".

Kenin's power and depth of groundstrokes made the difference and Schmiedlova succumbed in 71 minutes.

The results continued an inspiring showing for the local contingent, with a trio of young Australians on debut - Astra Sharma, Zoe Hives and Kimberly Birrell - having kicked off proceedings earlier on day one.

American Tennys Sandgren was left speechless Saturday after claiming his first ATP tour title with a comprehensive straight sets win over Britain's Cameron Norrie in the Auckland Classic final. "We played a lot of good tennis this week and beat a lot of good teams".

"I'm a little lost for words", a relieved Sandgren said when a Norrie service return went over the baseline to end the match.

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