BUCHAREST, Romania -- No.1 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia picked up the third WTA singles title of her career after a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over No.4 seed Petra Martic of Croatia in the BRD Bucharest Open final.
"I feel very happy," Sevastova told the media, after the match. "I need some time to enjoy it. It’s always like this. It comes pretty fast and you leave to the next tournament. But I am very happy and excited."
Sevastova avenged a loss to Martic in their only previous meeting, a 6-1, 6-1 dismantling in favor of the Croatian in the second round of Roland Garros last year. On this occasion, it was a 93-minute straight-set win for the Latvian, who claims the Bucharest title for the first time, after losing 6-0, 6-0 to Romanian heroine and current World No.1 Simona Halep in the 2016 Bucharest final.
Sevastova had 30 winners to 28 unforced errors throughout the match, while Martic fired 21 unforced errors to only 16 winners during the encounter. Sevastova won over half of the points on Martic's first serve, most notably in the second set, when she was 6-for-10 on those points.
"I didn’t think, in the beginning of the week, that I’m going to win it, because I had a first tough match," said Sevastova, who needed a final-set tiebreak to overcome Dalila Jakupovic in the opening round. "I was almost out of the tournament. But then I got better match to match, and in the final I played one of my best matches here."
Martic was up a break three separate times in the first set. First, she took a 2-1 lead, breaking Sevastova with a backhand drop shot on break point, but the Latvian broke back to knot the set at 3-3. Martic broke again in the next game to lead 4-3, but Sevastova immediately tied the set again at 4-4 behind a number of forehand winners.
The Croatian took another Sevastova service game to go ahead 5-4, as the Latvian became error-prone. There, Martic served for the set, but Sevastova held firm, firing a backhand winner to garner a break point, and tying the set at 5-5 after a Martic miscue. Sevastova then almost allowed a sixth straight break of the set, but withstood four break points in an 11-minute game to hold for 6-5.
After a Martic hold for 6-6, the combatants entered a tiebreak, and Sevastova raced well ahead, claiming a 5-2 lead with a forehand crosscourt passing shot. The Latvian reached triple set point at 6-3, and though Martic saved the first with an ace, on the second, another crosscourt forehand by Sevastova forced Martic to net a reply, ending the set.
Martic found it difficult to recover after losing the closely-contested first set, and the Croatian fired three consecutive unforced errors to swiftly drop serve at love to fall behind 2-1. Sevastova consolidated the break with a forehand winner on game point to lead 3-1, putting her a handful of games away from her first title since winning in Mallorca last year.
The Croatian acquitted herself well in her subsequent service game, holding at love to stay within one game at 3-2. But Martic faltered the next time she stepped to the line at 4-2, blasting a backhand long to give Sevastova triple break point. The top seed slammed a backhand winner past a weary Martic on her first break chance to lead 5-2.
Serving for the match, two aces brought the Latvian to triple match point. On her first opportunity to finish the encounter, Sevastova pushed a backhand unforced error into the net, but she only needed one more chance to hit a final forehand winner and earn the singles trophy.