Photograph: Getty Images
Pera Goes Back-To-Back
American Bernarda Pera continued her hot run of form by taking out a second-straight WTA title at the Hamburg European Open, defeating top seed Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-4.
Pera has now won 12 straight matches and 24 sets in a row over the past two weeks. The American made it all the way through qualifying and to the title last week in Budapest without a blemish and continued that form in Hamburg.
Pera’s form was so good this past week that she only dropped 22 games for the tournament and didn’t concede any more than four in a single set.
The American’s victory over Kontaveit is her highest by ranking and the second top ten triumph of her career, with the first coming at the 2018 Australian Open against Joanna Konta.
Pera turned the tables on Kontaveit in their second career meeting, with the Estonian coming out on top in the opening round of this year’s Wimbledon Championships.
The American was in complete control of the match, breaking the Kontaveit serve four times on the way to a 6-2, 5-2 lead. She did, however, show some nerves when attempting to serve out the match and got broken for the only time during the match.
Pera was able to steady herself at the second time of asking and served truly to take out her second career WTA title in as many weeks.
Following the match, she paid tribute to her former coach Kristijan Schneider, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer.
"I was lucky enough to be coached by him, and I want to dedicate this trophy to him and his memory," Pera said.
"I hope I can bring at least a little bit of his shine, passion and drive into the world."
Pera will now make a large jump from No. 130 in the world to be firmly entrenched inside the WTA’s top 60.
Begu Back in Title Town
Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu is back on the winners’ list, breaking a five-year title drought to lift the Palermo Ladies Open crown.
The world No. 45 dropped three sets en route to the final and saved her best performance for last, dispatching of local hope Lucia Bronzetti 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes.
The victory saw Begu lift her first piece of silverware since 2017 when she claimed a title on home soil in Bucharest.
The Romanian’s victory will see her jump back inside the WTA’s top 40 (33) for the first time since 2018.
Begu got off to a flying start in the final, breaking the Italian three times on the trot to claim an unassailable 5-2 lead before holding to love for the set. The Romanian started the second in similar fashion to the opening set, racing out to a 3-0 lead in a mere formality.
Following the match, Begu paid tribute to her team for helping get her to the title.
“Without you guys, I wouldn’t have this trophy, so thank you again,” Begu said on court.
The Romanian will line up as the fourth seed at the Poland Open in Warsaw next week as she hopes to extend her run of form.