FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil - An incredible fightback brought Klara Zakopalova her first WTA title in over eight years, as she rallied from 64 52 down to beat Garbiñe Muguruza in the Brasil Tennis Cup final.
Zakopalova has been coming on strong over the last few years - her first second weeks at Grand Slams, breaking the Top 20 for the first time last April - but WTA titles have been eluding her as of late, as she captured her first two back in 2005 but had been stopped in all six of her finals since then.
And it looked like that trend would continue as she faced Muguruza in the final of the Brasil Tennis Cup, falling behind 64 52 - but that's when Zakopalova took it to a whole new level, finding the perfect range on her huge groundstrokes and running everything down - the No.3-seeded Czech ran off 11 games in a row to completely run away with it against the No.2-seeded Spaniard, 46 75 60.
"I was playing well in the first set but she was just playing a little bit better, but in the second set she was just playing amazing," Zakopalova said. "But then maybe she started making a few mistakes and I was a little bit more patient. After I won the second set I told myself that anything could happen.
"I was losing the whole match, but anything can happen in a final. I think I got a little bit lucky here and there and I'm very happy I could make it through and win the third set, and win the title."
The victory brought Zakopalova the third WTA title of her career, and first in a long time - she won her first two at 's-Hertogenbosch and Portoroz in 2005, in June and September that year, respectively.
To illustrate how long it had been, Zakopalova was Koukalova when she won those titles - she married Czech soccer player Jan Zakopal on June 6, 2006. This was her first WTA title since the wedding.
"Winning this title is just incredible - I really have no more words for it," Zakopalova said.
"I'll be celebrating this for sure on the plane!"
The doubles final was played Friday, with No.3 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova beating Francesca Schiavone and Sílvia Soler-Espinosa in a match tie-break in the final, 76(1) 26 103. It was the pair's second WTA doubles title together, having won here a year ago.
"It's our second time in Florianopolis and second time we're leaving with the trophy - it's very cool," Shvedova said. "Last year this tournament helped us decide to team up this year, because we agreed to play the whole year. We really like playing together and off the court we are good friends as well."
"The last few years we played a couple of tournaments, we won here last year and in Charleston we made the finals. It's going well," Medina Garrigues said. "We're playing Indian Wells and Miami next."