ALEXANDROVA CLAIMS LIBEMA OPEN, HADDAD MAIA BREAKS MAIDEN


Photograph: Ekaterina Alexandrova (Getty Images)

Ekaterina Alexandrova captured her second career title on Sunday when she defeated top seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-0 to win the Libema Open.



Alexandrova is enjoying a strong season to date with her win over Sabalenka at 's-Hertogenbosch marking her second victory over a top-10 player this year.


The Russian will now travel to Berlin with the first grass court title of her career and her first title run since Shenzhen in 2017. Alexandrova now holds a 20-11 on the year.


The 27-year-old was dominant in 's-Hertogenbosch, dropping just one set over the course of the week and amassing wins over Dayana Yastremska, Anhelina Kalinina, Caty McNally, and Veronika Kudermetova.

Sabalenka gained the early ascendancy in Sunday’s final, manufacturing a 4-2 lead after breaking her opponent. Alexandrova would not be deterred though. She broke for 4-3 and the Belarussian could only manage one further break point for the match.


"When I played the first match here, I would never expect to play finals here and win the title,” Alexandrova said.


“It was so bad, I couldn't hit anything inside the court. But match after match, it was easier to find the rhythm and find the game. In the last match, I found it, and I just tried to keep it during the whole match."


Photograph: Beatriz Haddad Maia (Getty Images)

Hours later, Beatriz Haddad Maia notched a career milestone of her own when the Brazilian defeated No.6 seed, Alison Riske of the United States, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the Rothesay Open final.


Haddad Maia, currently ranked at a career-high World No.48, fell behind a break in the third set but dug deep and, after two hours and 18 minutes, claimed the first title of her career.



Like Alexandrova, Haddad Maia has put together a strong year so far with the 26-year-old winning her first WTA 125 title in Saint-Malo in May before a run to the final at the WTA 125 event in Paris final the following week.

"Grass is a special moment, we don’t have a lot of tournaments on grass, so it’s time to improve and be aggressive. On grass courts, it’s better to do that, so I will just keep doing that for my [doubles final], and after the doubles, next week in Birmingham, Eastbourne, and Wimbledon."

Haddad Maia went on to win the doubles title later on Sunday as well. She and Zhang Shuai, the No.1 seeds, defeated No.4 seeds Caroline Dolehide and Monica Niculescu 7-6(2), 6-3 in the final.