Swiatek’s San Diego Success
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek returned to her winning ways over the past week by claiming the San Diego Open in the USA.
The 21-year-old endured a tough week at the WTA 500 level event but battled on to defeat the experienced Donna Vekic 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in the final.
The match was Swiatek’s ninth final of the year and the Pole has gone an impressive 8-1 in those deciders, with her only loss coming to Barbora Krejcikova a week ago in Ostrava.
The week was taxing for both players, with Vekic winning her way through qualifying and enduring some long matches along the way while Swiatek was forced into tough battles with Qinwen Zhang and Jessica Pegula.
Typically, the final was taxing for both players.
“It was a really tight match and pretty long. I think both of us physically, we felt the intensity for sure,” Swiatek said in her on-court interview.
“At the end, I wanted to really be the one who’s going to play the last ball in and it happened a few times so it gave me a lot of confidence.”
Swiatek definitely finished the fresher of the two, with Vekic’s schedule partly to blame. The Croatian was forced to finish her semi-final match on the same day as the final due to a rain delay the day before.
After dropping the second set, the world No. 1 found another gear and ended the match in convincing fashion.
“I wanted to give it all in and knowing how Donna can serve, I just wanted to be…more, like, loosened up on my return games and yeah, just not think. Use my intuitions a little bit and just fight for every ball.”
The San Diego trophy becomes the 11th in Swiatek’s cabinet and the victory takes her to 64 match wins for the season.
Blinkova Blazes to First Title
Anna Blinkova enjoyed a week to remember after lifting her first WTA singles title at the Transylvania Open held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
The world No. 138 won her way through the qualifying rounds before blazing a path to the final, where she overcame Italian Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in an hour and 41 minutes.
"I’m feeling so good, and I cannot even describe my emotions because I just finished a very tough match," Blinkova said post-match.
"Actually, all the matches were very tough, and I’m extremely happy to be able to go through all the challenges and stay mentally strong and mentally stable."
Blinkova certainly needed to stay strong, with the 24-year-old spending over 12 hours on court in the 18 sets she endured for the week.
The final was evenly poised with the pair’s head-to-head series tied at two a piece, despite Paolini being ranked higher at No. 74.
Blinkova’s power was on display early as she blasted her way to a set and a break lead despite Paolini not doing a lot wrong on her side of the net. However, a loose service game from Blinkova at 3-2 let Paolini back into the contest with the Italian claiming the next four games to take the set.
The decider was won convincingly by Blinkova whose power became too much for Paolini. Blinkova finished the match with a whopping 35 winners to go along with five aces and just 22 unforced errors.
With the victory, Blinkova is expected to leap back into the WTA top 100.