Sara Sorribes Tormo made the most of her first WTA singles final opportunity with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Eugenie Bouchard to win the Abierto Zapopan championship.
Before this week, the No.4-seeded Spaniard had gone 2-for-12 in singles quarterfinals and 0-for-2 in semifinals before her run in Guadalajara.
"From the first point, from the first game with my serve, I just tried to stay there at the beginning, because she was hitting so strong," Sorribes Tormo said in her post-match press conference. "I just tried to hold my serve, to make her think, and I think I made it good. I’m really, really happy with the way I played, and happy to win.
"I’m proud of everything. I’m proud of the way I managed the emotions; it’s not easy to play a first final. I’m happy with the way I managed to compete here with the altitude and with everything. I'm really happy with my attitude."
.@sara_sorribes playing relentless defense. Up a set and a break, serving 3-2 in the second against @geniebouchard.@AbiertoZapopan | #AbiertoZapopan2021 pic.twitter.com/n6lsC3wOnx— wta (@WTA) March 14, 2021
After dropping her first set of the event in a tiebreak, Sorribes Tormo won 10 consecutive sets, punctuated by a nearly two-hour victory over Bouchard in her first final.
"I try to always take the positives," Sorribes Tormo said. "I think I’m a very positive person, and I just try to think if I didn’t win [a] match, it was because it was not my moment and because they were better than me, because I need to improve more. And that’s what I did. "
Sorribes Tormo and Bouchard had faced off once before, also in Mexico, at 2017 Monterrey, and Sorribes Tormo had also won that match in straight sets. The No.4 seed repeated the feat this time around by saving nine of 12 break points she faced and winning two-thirds of second-service return points.
In a series of lengthy games at the start of the clash, Sorribes Tormo jumped out to an early lead, converting her third break point to break for 2-1, then staving off four break points in the following marathon game to retain her lead.
Sorribes Tormo extended rallies to draw numerous miscues from Bouchard in the opening frame -- Bouchard fired 22 unforced errors during that timeframe, compared to the Spaniard’s total of seven. Sorribes Tormo was particularly steely on break points, saving all seven she faced in the first stanza as she grasped a one-set lead.
🏆 FIRST TITLE FEELS 🏆— wta (@WTA) March 14, 2021
Congrats @sara_sorribes 🇪🇸
Your 2021 @AbiertoZapopan Singles Champion! pic.twitter.com/ytFE54Mhex
After falling behind a break in the first game of the second set, Bouchard at last earned her first service break to level the set at 1-1. This opened up a bevy of breaks, with three of the next five games also going to the returner to give Bouchard a 5-3 lead.
"I just tried to accept everything that’s coming, accept that she was playing good at that moment, that she was playing better than me," Sorribes Tormo said, thinking back on her second-set deficit. "I just tried to keep focusing on what I had to do, and what I had been doing the whole week, the whole match: just to stay there and try to change the score."
With Bouchard serving for the set, Sorribes Tormo continued to mix up her depth and placement and was rewarded with another break to get back on serve at 5-4. Sorribes Tormo broke again, at love, to go up 6-5, and reach the brink of completing a second-set comeback.
The Spaniard succeeded when serving for the match, punching a volley winner to win a fourth consecutive game and grab her maiden WTA singles title.
🏆 CHAMPIONS 🏆@EllenPerez95 & @astrasharma take the title in Guadalajara.@AbiertoZapopan| #AbiertoZapopan2021 pic.twitter.com/1WAnozRtiW— wta (@WTA) March 14, 2021
The all-Australian pair of Ellen Perez and Astra Sharma won the doubles title. The No.3 seeds upset the No.1-seeded tandem of Desirae Krawczyk and Giuliana Olmos 6-4, 6-4.
Perez and Sharma combined to win a whopping 22 of their 24 first-service points (91.4 percent) in the encounter as they eased to victory in an hour and 11 minutes.
It is the second WTA doubles title for both Perez and Sharma, but their first paired together. All of their doubles titles have come with fellow Aussies -- Perez's other title came alongside Daria Gavrilova at 2019 Strasbourg, while Sharma's previous title came when she was paired with Zoe Hives at 2019 Bogota.