LINZ, Austria - Just two days after securing the eighth and final spot in Istanbul, Angelique Kerber won her third WTA title, battling past Ana Ivanovic in a rollercoaster final at the Generali Ladies Linz.
Though there were some ups and downs from both sides, it was Kerber who seemed in complete control in the early goings, building a 64 53 lead and, at 64 54, serving her way to a 40-0 lead and triple match point. Ivanovic fought them all off, though, and it looked like things were seriously swinging the other way as she brought up four set points of her own - two at 6-5, then two at 6-4 in the breaker.
But the No.1-seeded Kerber bounced back just in time, reeling off the last four points to close out the No.3-seeded Ivanovic, 64 76(6). Kerber ended up with four more points in the match - 87 to 83.
"At the end I was just focusing point to point and not thinking about the match points I already had," Kerber said. "I was just trying to stay aggressive in the important moments and I think that was the biggest key to victory at the end. I'm really happy to win my first WTA tournament of the year here.
"Ana also played a great tournament and a great final. I'm just happy I could win the final today."
"There were a lot of turnarounds from both sides, but she played better in the important moments," Ivanovic said. "I feel like I had more chances but just didn't use them. I hit some errors when I really needed the point. But it was a great match, and though it's disappointing to lose in a final, I had lots of good matches this week and lots of good wins, and overall it was a very positive week for me."
Kerber won the third WTA title of her career, her first two coming last year at Paris [Indoors] (a Premier event) and Copenhagen (an International event). All three of her WTA titles have come indoors.
Kerber rounded out an elite eight that also includes Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova and Jelena Jankovic. Maria Sharapova would have been in the field but unfortunately the World No.3 had to withdraw from the event with a shoulder injury.
Earlier on Sunday the doubles final saw the Pliskova sisters beat No.1 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska for the title, 76(6) 64. The Pliskovas not only won their first WTA doubles title together, it was also their very first WTA doubles titles as individuals - for both Karolina and Kristyna.