GUANGZHOU, China - American Sofia Kenin captured her third title of the season at the Guangzhou International Women's Open on Saturday, rallying to defeat Aussie Samantha Stosur, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2.
After losing the first set from a break up, the No. 3 seed found herself two games from defeat in the second, but turned the match around by winning seven straight games.
"Sam is such a tough player to play, and the match was not easy," Kenin said. "I'm just really happy with the way I fought. I knew it was going to be a tough match and I needed to leave everything on the court, and I'm so happy to have won.
"This was my first time being here in Guangzhou, and I loved every minute of it. I really liked it here from the start. I'm so happy about the support that I got from all the fans here, and of course, the title makes it even better."
— WTA (@WTA) September 21, 2019
Stosur, looking to win her first singles title in two-and-a-half years, rallied from 4-2 down in the opening set to claim it in a tiebreak.
The 2011 US Open champion dropped serve to love in the sixth game, but broke back immediately and won the set despite missing two break points at 4-4.
Kenin again took an early break lead in the second set, as she won Stosur's first service game and led 2-0, but lost 12 of the next 13 points to see Stosur reclaim the lead.
The two players traded service holds from there, until Kenin captured the deciding break of serve in the ninth game to send the match to a final set.
"I feel proud of myself. It was a tough match today. She played very, very well for the whole match, and really picked it up in that second and third sets," Stosur said.
"I still made the final, so there's lots to be proud of. I think it was pretty close and there wasn't a whole lot in it, but I didn't get off to the start in the third that I wanted to, and that's what made the difference as it went on."
— Sofia Kenin (@SofiaKenin) September 21, 2019
The American won the first four games of the final set, and largely cruised on serve to deny Stosur any opportunities for a comeback.
Kenin lost just six points in four service games, four of which came as she served to lead 5-1, where she denied Stosur her lone break point opportunity at deuce.
The 20-year-old, who entered the week at a career-best ranking of World No. 20, will rise to a new high of World No. 17 as the result of the victory.
"My goal next year is to be in the Top 10," Kenin added. "I'm just going to enjoy this title and having a great year, and I'm going to try and do my best in Wuhan and Beijing, and hopefully qualify for Zhuhai."