MELBOURNE: Top-ranked Ash Barty cashed in on her first championship point in the Yarra Valley Classic here Sunday, as the tune-up tournament for the Australian Open culminated the eve of the year’s first major. Barty claimed her second WTA on home soil – just over a year after her first – with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over sixth-seeded Garbine Muguruza, last year’s Australian Open runner-up. She did so in front of small clusters of spectators at Margaret Court Arena. Still, it was more of a crowd than most players have been accustomed to seeing at their matches during the pandemic. On Monday, when the Australian Open starts, up to 30,000 fans are expected at Melbourne Park. “For us, this is what makes the magic happen,” Barty told the crowd on Sunday. “I’m so grateful you can be here making it extra special for us,” she added. “See ya next week.” Muguruza had dropped only 10 games – never more than two in a set – in her previous four straight-set victories at the tournament, including a 6-2, 6-2 quarter-final win over 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin. The two-time major winner got the first break of serve to lead 3-1 before Barty broke back. Muguruza broke again and had a chance to serve for the first set, before Barty went on a roll. The Australian star used her slice backhand and drop shots to keep Muguruza moving around the court, mixed some powerful forehands with variety and clinched the match with a lob.