María-Teresa Torró-Flor won her first WTA title at the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, beating Romina Oprandi in a match between first-time WTA finalists.
WTA Staff

MARRAKECH, Morocco - María-Teresa Torró-Flor became the sixth first-time WTA champion of the year on Sunday, beating Romina Oprandi to win the Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem.

In a battle between first-time WTA finalists - and both unseeded, at that - it looked like Torró-Flor was on her way to a straight set victory as she took the opening set, 6-3, and was threatening to break again at 1-1 in the second set, pushing that game to multiple deuces with some strong returning.

Oprandi held on, though, and broke in the very next game to take control of the match, eventually riding that break until she tucked away the second set, 6-3, and pushed the match to a deciding third.

But it was all Torró-Flor in that deciding third. Showing off a combination of big groundies and soft touch, the Spaniard stormed out to a 5-1 lead, getting broken while serving for the match the first time but making no mistakes the second time, eventually prevailing in an hour and 50 minutes, 63 36 63.

"It was a difficult match," Torró-Flor said afterwards. "In the second set I started to lose my focus and Oprandi took advantage of that and took the set. I called my coach to the court and he told me I had to keep focusing and work hard like I always do, and after that I started to play a bit better.

"It was difficult, and I had to fight a lot, but I feel really happy to win my first title."

The Spaniard was then asked if she would be back next year. "Yes of course I will!" she replied.

Torró-Flor is the sixth player to win their first WTA title this year, after Garbiñe Muguruza (Hobart), Tsvetana Pironkova (Sydney), Kurumi Nara (Rio de Janeiro), Caroline Garcia (Bogotá) and Donna Vekic (Kuala Lumpur). With the exception of Pironkova, all of those first-timers are age 22 and under.

For Oprandi the week was still a big breakthrough too. She had a semifinal block before this week, going 0-4 in WTA semifinals, falling at Palermo in 2010 (to Kaia Kanepi), 's-Hertogenbosch in 2011 (to Jelena Dokic) and Oeiras and Brussels last year (to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Peng Shuai, respectively). But this week she edged Daniela Hantuchova to finally get over the hump.