Her two-fisted blasts hitting the corners at the most crucial of times, Vitalia Diatchenko edged home favorite Chan Yung-Jan for the OEC Taipei WTA Challenger title.
WTA Staff

TAIPEI, Chinese Taipei - Russia's Vitalia Diatchenko put a stamp on an absolute breakthrough 2014 season on Sunday, winning the biggest title of her career at the OEC Taipei WTA Challenger.

Having just recorded the biggest result of her career a few weeks ago on home soil - she reached her first WTA quarterfinal at the Premier-level event in Moscow, scoring her first Top 50 win along the way against Dominika Cibulkova - Diatchenko conquered someone else's home soil this past week, Chan Yung-Jan's, to be exact, by winning the WTA 125K Series tournament in Taipei, Chinese Taipei.

The No.6-seeded Diatchenko outdid Chan, a wildcard into the draw, in a very tight three-setter in the final, rallying from a first set blowout and a 3-1 hole in the third set to prevail, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"The first set was very bad," Diatchenko said. "When I lost it I said, 'Okay, let's just play a good game now.' I wasn't playing my best tennis in the beginning but when I relaxed like that, I could play much better, and I'm so happy how I was able to turn it around after that in the second and third sets."

And when asked who her favorite player was, the inspiration for her game style became clear.

"Monica Seles," she said.

Before this, all of Diatchenko's career titles came on the ITF Women's Circuit, winning nine titles - the biggest of which coming at $100,000 tournaments in Astana, Kazakhstan, in 2011 and 2014.

And now, a title on the WTA 125K Series. These tournaments carry a $125,000 total prize purse.

Diatchenko will now break into the Top 100 for the first time in her career, as well.

"I'm really, really happy with this week," she said.

"I'm not just Top 100 now, but I won a tournament - a big one."

Chan, who was playing the second-biggest final of her career - she reached an International-level final in Bangkok, Thailand back in 2007 - was happy with her week despite coming so close to victory.

"Diatchenko was so aggressive today - but I played aggressively too and didn't make many errors," Chan said. "I don't feel like a loser today because I fought until the last minute. I tried my best out there, and I leave with no regrets. And I have to thank all of the fans who came here to watch us today!"

All was not lost for Chan, however - she took the court again later on for the doubles final, as the No.1 seeds with younger sister Chan Hao-Ching, and they beat Chang Kai-Chen and Chuang Chia-Jung, 6-4, 6-3. The Chan sisters put on a dazzling serving display - they never faced a single break point.