Photograph: Daria Kasatkina (Getty Images).
Kasatkina Makes Top 10 Return
Daria Kasatkina defeated American Shelby Rogers 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2 to win the WTA 500 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic title in San Jose.
It was Kasatkina’s first title of 2022 and the fifth of her career which sees her rise to a career-high WTA Ranking of No. 9, eclipsing her previous best of 10 in the world in 2018.
The Russian’s exceptional tournament included wins over Top 10 players Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka and 2022 Wimbledon Champion Elena Rybakina.
Rogers, competing in her first tour final since 2016, had breezed through her opponents on route to the final.
Her good form was on display as she came back from a break down in the first set to take the gain the front running in a lopsided tiebreaker.
The second and third sets were a mere procession as Kasatkina’s big hitting and physicality was too much for the American to handle.
Kasatkina will look to continue her strong hard-court form at this weeks WTA 1000 National Bank Open in Toronto, where she will face 2019 US Open champion and local Bianca Andreescu in the first round.
Samsonova Triumphs in the Capital
Liudmila Samsonova fought back from a set down to defeat Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the WTA 250 Citi Open title in Washington on Sunday.
The win was Samsonova’s second title on the WTA Tour as well as the second Top 10 win of her career.
Before her victory at the Citi Open, Samsonova had not made a tour-level quarterfinal since the Adelaide International 2 back in January.
In the first set, Kanepi’s serve was proving difficult for Samsonova to read and she did not earn a single break point. Kanepi was able to gain the decisive break of serve in the 10th game of the set to grab the advantage.
Despite both women holding serve early in the second set, Samsonova was finding her range on her ground strokes which was causing issues for Kanepi. In the seventh game of the second set, Samsonova got her reward with a break of serve and from there was able to close out the set.
The deciding set was panning out almost identically to the second set with world No. 60 Samsonova gaining a crucial break of serve in the eighth game of the set.
"I think it was the hardest match of the week, because Kaia was playing amazing," Samsonova said post-match.
"She was serving so well. I had some troubles to find the solution on the return. It was a tough mental game today, and I'm so happy that I found the solutions."
Both women will look to continue their good form at the WTA 1000 National Bank Open in Toronto, Canada this week.
Home Sweet Home
Romania's Ana Bogdan triumphed in her home country, defeating Hungary's Panna Udvardy 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in the final of the WTA 125 BCR Iasi Open.
After falling short to Carolina Garcia in the Poland Open final last week, Bogdan will be pleased to have come away with the title.
The Romanian got off to commanding start, breaking Udvardy in the third game of the match. Bogdan took complete control of the set with another break of serve in the seventh game before being able to serve it out 6-2.
World No. 83 Udvardy put the disappointment of the first set behind her to immediately break Bogdan’s serve and race out to a 3-0 lead in the second set. Bogdan managed to regain the break of serve but it was short lived, as her Hungarian opponent was able to instantly break
back and level the match at one set all.
Bogdan was able to regain her composure in the third set, breaking Udvardy’s serve twice to ease to the title.
Bogdan has moved up to world No. 63 in the live WTA Rankings and will look to return to the world’s top 50 with positive results in the North American Swing.