SUZHOU, China - Shahar Peer's recent revival continued Saturday, as just a few weeks after making her first WTA-level final in two years in Baku, she won her first WTA 125K Series-level title in Suzhou.
The No.3-seeded Peer followed up her 61 63 demolition of No.1 seed Timea Babos in the semifinals with a 62 26 63 win over unseeded Zheng Saisai in the final, splitting a pair of lopsided sets and then breaking away from 3-all in the third set with three straight games to close out the championship.
"It was extremely hot out there and so tough to play today, so I'm really happy I found the energy to win in the end," Peer said afterwards. "She was playing really well, and with the conditions, after the fourth game of the first set I was dead already. I'm sure in different conditions it would be a different game, but we both fought until the end and gave all our heart out there and I'm so happy to have won."
It has been a tough last few years for Peer - since peaking at No.11 during the 2011 season she has dipped down the rankings significantly, going as low as No.179 during the Wimbledon fortnight this year. But she has now won 11 of 14 matches since then, and nine of the last 10, a stretch highlighted by the aforementioned run to the finals in Baku (where she was a runner-up to Elina Svitolina) and now winning the inaugural CAOXIJIU Suzhou Ladies Open in Suzhou, a WTA 125K Series tournament.
What's next on the itinerary for Peer? "I go home tonight," she said. "I'll be at home for four days, which will be really nice, and then I'm going to the US to get ready for the qualies of the US Open."
And was she able to see any of Suzhou this week? "Sorry to say but I had no time to go around the city," she said. "I was playing every day and it was so hot, so I really didn't get the opportunity.
"But the tournament was so nice and I really enjoyed it. I don't know much about the city though!"
The Israeli came into this week at No.113 and could return to the Top 100 on the new rankings.
The doubles final took place later, with Hungarian-Dutch pair Babos and Michaella Krajicek beating Chinese-Japanese duo Han Xinyun and Eri Hozumi comprehensively in straight sets for the title, 62 62.