TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In a battle of former champions, No.3 seed Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia returned to the winner's circle at the Taipei OEC Open after a straightforward 6-3, 6-2 victory over No.2 seed Timea Babos of Hungary in the final of the WTA 125K Series event on Sunday.
World No.108 Diatchenko claimed the second WTA 125K Series title of her career, having also triumphed at the Taipei OEC Open in 2014 with a three-set win over home favorite Chan Yung-jan in the championship match. The Russian had a much easier time of it this go-around, dispatching World No.104 Babos, the 2015 Taipei OEC Open victor, after just an hour and nine minutes of action.
Diatchenko, who reached a career-high ranking of World No.71 shortly after winning the Taipei OEC Open in 2014, was excellent on serve during the clash, winning two-thirds of points on her second serve and facing only two break points overall. Both players finished the match with six aces, but Babos was less effective on serve as a whole, winning just 53 percent of points off of both her first and second serves.
29-year-old Diatchenko won all five of her matches in straight sets during this week and she is projected to return to the Top 100 following her performance. Former Top 25 singles player Babos, who recently paired with Kristina Mladenovic to defend their doubles title at the prestigious year-end Shiseido WTA Finals, is also poised to re-enter the Top 100 after her runner-up showing.
Babos started the encounter strongly, breaking Diatchenko in the opening game before using her stellar serving to power to a love hold to consolidate for 2-0. However, Diatchenko quickly worked her way into the match with fearless groundstrokes, and wrestled a break of serve away from the Hungarian to pull level at 3-3.
Diatchenko then began to end up on the winning end of rallies more often than not, and she earned another break of service to clinch a 5-3 lead. The Russian romped to set point in the next game, where Babos fired a shot long to give Diatchenko a fifth straight game and a resulting one-set lead.
3rd-seeded Diatchenko extended her game-winning streak to seven, using fiery service returns to break Babos at love in the first game of the second set, and consolidating that advantage for 2-0. Babos finally broke the spell, holding at love with an ace, but the Hungarian still had a big mountain to climb from her set-and-a-break deficit.
Meanwhile, the power game of the Russian did not falter one bit, as she aced Babos to hold at love for 4-2. Diatchenko then used more blistering returns to earn another break point for a 5-2 lead, which she converted after a Babos forehand went wide.
Serving for the match, Diatchenko zeroed in on victory, firing her fifth ace of the tilt to queue up her first match point, and immediately sealing the win with her sixth ace of the day.
The doubles championship was determined earlier on Sunday, with Chinese Taipei's duo of Lee Ya-hsuan and Wu Fang-hsien thrilling the local crowds by earning a 4-6, 6-4, [10-7] win over the 2nd-seeded team of Dalila Jakupovic and Danka Kovinic.