Italian youngster Elisabetta Cocciaretto can call herself a WTA 125 champion after taking out the Abierto Tampico final in Mexico on Sunday.
The world No. 79 coming in who rises to 64 in the WTA Rankings capped off her breakout week by defeating fifth seed Magda Linette 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1 in a two-and-a-half-hour battle to lift the trophy. It was the 21-year-old’s third WTA 125 final, with the Italian finishing runner-up in her previous two in Prague and Makarska.
Cocciaretto endured a tough week to get to the final, running into seeded players at every turn. The Italian’s biggest scalp of the week belonged to Wimbledon quarterfinalist and world No. 28 Marie Bouzkova, who had made the final four of the WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara just over a week ago.
"It was a very tough week, I did a lot of tough matches with great opponents," Cocciaretto said post-match.
"When the [last] ball went into the net, I said, ‘Oh my god, I won.’ And it was unexpected because this was an amazing tournament with an incredible level.
"I was saying with my coach, ‘Okay, we will have more experience trying to do my best, to play with these opponents.’ But not for sure the win, because it was a very, very tough 125 tournament."
The final itself was a match of swings and roundabouts, with both players having opportunities to take control of the encounter.
The Italian raced out to a 3-1 lead in the opening set only to lose the next four games on the trot, giving Linette the chance to serve for the set. The Pole couldn’t manage to convert and the set went to a tiebreaker.
Linette broke out to a commanding 5-1 lead in the tiebreak before Cocciaretto rallied, forcing her way back into the frame with a never-say-die attitude from the baseline. The Italian reeled off six points in a row to take the opener.
The second set was straightforward, with Linette consolidating on the break at 3-2 to square the ledger with an eventual 6-4 scoreline. That was just about all the Pole could muster, as Cocciaretto broke her serve twice in the final set to steamroll her way to the title with a 6-1 scoreline.
Cocciaretto became the third Italian woman to win a WTA title in 2022, joining Martina Trevisan and Sara Errani.