DALLAS, TX, USA - Roberta Vinci scored a few firsts deep in the heart of Texas on Friday night, beating Jelena Jankovic for the first time in four tries and winning her first WTA title of the season at the Texas Tennis Open.
The No.3-seeded Vinci looked in trouble of dropping her first set of the week as Jankovic broke at 4-all and served for that first set at 5-4; but Vinci won six straight games for a 75 30 lead, and even though Jankovic took the next three games to even the second set at 3-all, Vinci went on her own run of three straight games to complete the win over the No.2-seeded Serb, 75 63.
Vinci won her seventh WTA title and first on outdoor hardcourts - among her first six WTA titles were four on clay, one on grass and one on indoor hardcourts.
"I think we played a really good final," Vinci said. "I was up a set and 3-0 and had a lot of chances to keep going, but she came back to 3-all. She's such a good player - she was No.1 in the world a few years ago - so at the beginning of the match I was a little bit nervous. But I just tried to stay relaxed and keep going for my shots and although we were both very tired, I made it.
"It was a tough week, a tough draw, a tough final - I'm so happy I won!"
Jankovic had survived some tough matches earlier in the week, including a three-hour-plus marathon against Yaroslava Shvedova in the first round, but managed to reach her second WTA final of the year, after Birmingham - she had won all three previous meetings against the crafty Vinci, however.
"The most important moment was at 5-4 in the first set, I was serving for the set and had 30-15. If that ball went my way it would have been 40-15 and two set points on my serve," Jankovic said. "After I lost that, it seemed like everything went downhill. I started making a lot of errors and playing wrong, tactically.
"After I was down 3-0 in the second set I changed some things a bit and got back in the match, but from there she played really unbelievable tennis.
"Overall I'm happy with my week though. I came here to play some good matches; unfortunately I didn't win, but I played some very good tennis."
The doubles final saw No.4 seeds Marina Erakovic and Heather Watson win eight straight games from 4-3 in the first set to beat Liga Dekmeijere and Irina Falconi, 63 60. Erakovic and Watson won their second WTA doubles title together, having already conquered Stanford earlier in the summer - Erakovic now has seven WTA doubles titles to her name, while Watson has two.
"Stanford was the first time we played together, and the second time we played together was here - so we're doing pretty well together!" Watson said. "We just take it match by match. We were just focusing on our first match when we got here, then as each one progressed we did the same, and here we are."
"We're going to play US Open, we're going to play Québec City, we haven't even talked about Asia yet but I'm hoping there too," Erakovic added.