Elina Svitolina defeated fellow WTA Rising Star Bojana Jovanovski to win the second WTA title of her career - and at the same tournament where she won her first.
WTA Staff

BAKU, Azerbaijan - Elina Svitolina defeated fellow WTA Rising Star Bojana Jovanovski to defend her title at the Baku Cup, the second WTA title of the Ukrainian teenager's blossoming career.

Svitolina came out far stronger, cruising to a 6-1 first set in just 22 minutes. But things got much tougher in the second set as Jovanovski wouldn't budge on her serve - in fact neither played budged on their serve, 12 straight holds leading the hard-hitting WTA Rising Stars into a second set tie-break.

The No.2-seeded Svitolina jumped out to a 4-0 lead in that second set tie-break and never really looked back, eventually closing the No.5-seeded Jovanovski out on her first match point, 6-1, 7-6(2).

"I think we were both nervous at the start of the match, but I handled it really well," Svitolina said. "In the second set she was trying to fight, and she's not the type of person who gives up - I've watched her fighting for every ball and for every set before and I was actually expecting this fightback.

"But I was playing really well here and I'm happy I could defend my title. I'm really happy with the way I'm playing and I'm enjoying myself - I'm feeling really confident with my game right now."

"In the first set I couldn't find any rhythm," Jovanovski said. "In the second set I tried to come back and it was a little bit better, but it still wasn't enough to win the set. I had a few chances to break but didn't use my opportunities. But she played really well today and definitely deserved to win."

Jovanovski's slow start to the match could have been the after-effects of a very difficult path to the final - she went to three sets three times in four matches en route to the final, including coming back from 6-4, 4-2 down in her quarterfinal match and 4-1 down in the third set in her semifinal match.

Meanwhile, Svitolina lost just one set all week, in her semifinal win against Francesca Schiavone.

Svitolina is also the first teenager to win multiple WTA titles since Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who actually won three WTA titles as a teenager (Monterrey and Istanbul in 2010 and Monterrey in 2011).

The doubles final took place earlier in the day, with Alexandra Panova and Heather Watson upsetting No.3 seeds Raluca Olaru and Shahar Peer, 6-2, 7-6(3). Panova and Watson were in trouble in the second set - they saved two set points in Watson's 5-6 service game. That wasn't their first comeback of the week - they fought off a match point in the first round against Jovanovski and Danka Kovinic.

It was Panova and Watson's first title together. Panova now has four WTA doubles titles, Watson three.