efe-epaSydney, Australia

Angelique Kerber of Germany on Saturday defeated Ashleigh Barty of Australia 6-4, 6-4 to claim the Sydney International tennis tournament title.

Kerber, ranked world No. 22, needed 70 minutes to beat her Australian rival, world No. 11, winning her first title of the season and her 11th career trophy.

"I am playing amazing tennis again and feeling just great," Kerber, age 29, said after the match.

"It feels very good to win my first title in my first tournament this year. I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash," she added.

Barty praised Kerber as a player who "makes you work so hard for each point."

"To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of my better tennis this week. But Angie is on fire," Barty added.

After this win, Kerber is to set her sights on preparing for the Australian Open, where she is scheduled to play in the first round against her compatriot Anna-Lena Friedsam on Jan. 16.