WTA

Siniakova ends title drought in Portoroz as teenage sensation Fruhvirtova triumphs in Chennai

By Sports Desk September 18, 2022

Katerina Siniakova ended her five-year wait for a WTA singles title after coming from behind to defeat Elena Rybakina and claim the Slovenia Open crown.

The Czech secured the third singles triumph of her career – and first since prevailing at Bastad in 2017 – as she recovered from losing the opening set to deny Wimbledon champion Rybakina 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Siniakova – also the doubles world number one – continued her rich vein of form, having captured her third grand slam of 2022 alongside Barbara Krejcikova at the US Open last week.

The world number 82 had come through two matches on Saturday to reach the championship match in Portoroz, and was slow out of the blocks as she fell 5-0 behind in the opening set. Although Siniakova fought back to force the tie-break, Rybakina held her nerve by winning four of the last five points to draw first blood.

The Wimbledon champion, who hit 43 winners, appeared to be closing in on victory in her third final of the year as she broke for 4-3 in the second set. However, Siniakova broke back immediately before eventually forcing a decider.

Both players exchanged breaks early on in the third, but Rybakina's increasing unforced error tally (66) eventually culminated in her opponent claiming another crucial one for 5-4, before serving it out to end the drought.

Over at the Chennai Open, teenager Linda Fruhvirtova also enjoyed a comeback victory as she denied Magda Linette 4-6 6-3 6-4 to land her maiden WTA title.

Aged 17 years and 141 days, Fruhvirtova became the youngest winner on the WTA Tour this season, and is set to climb into the world's top 100 for the first time.

In a tight opening set, Linette broke for 5-4 before holding to love to strike first. A solitary break also proved crucial in the second set; the Czech profiting on this occasion to ensure the final went to a decider.

Linette, who won just two out of nine break points, established early control as she surged into a 4-1 lead, but Fruhvirtova came roaring back as she reeled off five straight games to seal a fitting end to her breakthrough week.

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