After looking out of sorts in the first set, Begu dragged herself back into the contest to halt Babos' charge in the second. A break in the ninth game saw her take the match the distance and despite falling 2-0 behind in the decider she rallied once more to win, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
"During the match I didn't start really well - I was a little bit tense and focusing too much on the negative rather than the positive things I was doing. Then I realized I had to make the most of the situation, if the forehand wasn't working I needed to use the backhand more," Begu said. "I think it was more mental because I really wanted to win the title."
The result secures Begu the third title of her career, reaffirming a love affair with the country which played such a crucial role in her comeback from a serious shoulder injury.
"This country is really special for me. In 2014, I was around 130, 140 [in the rankings], I don't really remember, and I started with the small tournaments, then Florianopolis and Rio," Begu said. "Being here for five weeks I got to see that the people are really nice, the food is great, too. I was also doing well, winning some of the tournaments, the $25Ks, so it was a nice comeback for me. If I have the chance I will come back again!"
Victory also provides the perfect send-off ahead of the Romanian's trip up the coast to Rio where she will compete in her second Olympics, beginning her challenge against Nao Hibino. Babos, whose four-year wait to add to her solitary WTA title continues, meanwhile has a day to lick her wounds before a first-round meeting against Petra Kvitova.
"It was a difficult final emotionally, especially as I felt I had it in my hands, then only at the end I realize I've lost," Babos said afterwards. "Of course I was playing against a very good player - she was fighting all the way - but I thought that I was playing better and I had many, many, many opportunities, so obviously I'm sad to lose this final."