Svitolina Comeback Beats Bouchard for WTA KL Title
Former Top 10er Genie Bouchard failed to turn around a winless head-to-head against Elina Svitolina on Sunday at the BMW Malaysian Open, failing to close out a set and a break lead in falling to Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5.
“Emotionally, I’m really exhausted now,” Svitolina said after clinching a fourth career crown and first of 2016. “It was a long day. The first set was really tough and she was playing really well, but I was 5-3 up, so I was disappointed to lose the first set after such a tough fight. After we stopped a couple of times because of the rain, it was up and down.”
Svitolina, buoyed by new coach and former No. 1 Justine Henin hired as part of her team, was coming off the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Bouchard was 0-3 career against Svitolina entering the match and looked in the driver’s seat after winning the first set and going up 4-2 in the second.
“Many people would think the match is over, but I like to surprise everyone,” Bouchard said with a derisive laugh afterwards. “Honestly, I was just trying to play my game. There was nothing special, just when I lost my serve I was 30-0 up, and emotionally I was struggling a bit because I lost my serve in such a big moment.”
Later Bouchard served for the match in the third set at 5-4, dropping serve at love.
Svitolina improved to a perfect 4-0 in career finals while Bouchard fell to 1-5, losing in her second final this year after Hobart. She was looking for her first title since 2014 Nurnberg.
Watson on Precipice of Top 50 After Monterrey Win
The oft-injured Heather Watson positioned herself for a move back into the Top 50 on Sunday by winning the Abierto Monterrey Afirme in Mexico, from a set down defeating Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, to win her third career title.
“Mexico, thank you; te amo!” said the Brit, who with the win rose from 84 to No. 53 on the WTA rankings. “I’m a big fan of Mexico; when I was 6 years old, we used to come to Mexico for Christmas for six years. I’m just so glad to be able to win a title here. I need to learn some more Spanish.”
After winning the second set Watson went up 3-0 in the third, eventually closing it out at 6-3.
“I was nervous coming into the match, and I’ve never beaten Kirsten before,” Watson said. “She’s a great player who really makes you work for it.”
Watson improved to a perfect 3-0 in career finals following wins at 2015 Hobart and 2012 Osaka. Flipkens fell to 1-2 in career finals, and was looking for her first title since 2012 Quebec City.
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