ANNING, China - Former junior World No.1 Irina Khromacheva won her first WTA 125 series title in dramatic fashion on Saturday, as she saved three match points to upset No.4 seed Zheng Saisai in the final, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).
The 22-year-old Russian, whose ranking has slipped to World No.210 after reaching a career-high of No.89 last February, trailed 5-3, 40-15 on Zheng's serve in the final set, but broke to stay alive and later saved a match point on her own serve in the ninth game before winning a tense, deciding tiebreak.
After the over two-and-a-half hour encounter, Khromacheva returned to the court later on as the top seed in doubles alongside Dalila Jakupovic, and the pair also claimed victory over unseeded Chinese pair Guo Hanyu and Sun Xuliu, 6-1, 6-1.
Khromacheva and Jakupovic have won eight of their last nine matches as a doubles team, after claiming their first WTA title together at the Claro Open Cosalnitas in Bogotá last month.
Zheng looked to extend her winning streak to 15 straight matches after winning both the WTA 125K title in Zhengzhou and the ITF Circuit event in Quanzhou over the past two weeks, and came out on top of a wild opening set to move ahead in the match.
The former World No.60 edged out an opener which saw eight breaks of serve between the two players. She won a staggering 71 percent of points on the Russian's delivery and broke her in all five service games, winning five of six break points.
Khromacheva needed to dig deep before she even saved match points, as she trailed 4-1 in the second set and won five straight games to send the final to a decider.