Germany are just one win away from reaching the Hopman Cup final after world No.2 Angelique Kerber beat Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-4 in Perth on Friday night.
The winner of the tie will meet Switzerland in Saturday’s final, meaning Matt Ebden needs to upset world No.4 Alexander Zverev in the men’s singles rubber to keep Australia’s hopes alive.
Barty is ranked 13 places below Kerber, but entered the match having beaten the German in their previous meeting.
However, Barty committed a host of errors during important moments to hand the ascendancy to Kerber.
Kerber won the first set in 32 minutes, and snared an early break in the second set.
Barty had four chances to break back in the fourth game of the second set, but Kerber battled valiantly to hold serve.
Switzerland are the defending champions, with Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic keen to add a second straight title.
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