Teenage wildcard Maria Camila Osorio Serrano completed her Cinderella run in front of her home crowd at the Copa Colsanitas, winning her first WTA title 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 over No.5 seed Tamara Zidansek.
"It’s been an unreal week for me," Osorio Serrano told the media after her win. "I still cannot believe that I won the title."
At 2 hours and 48 minutes, it was easily the longest final of the season, 40 minutes over the previous benchmark set by Daria Kasatkina's victory over Marie Bouzkova to take the Phillip Island Trophy.
"I played a really great match against Tamara, and I didn’t know how I turned the match," Osorio Serrano said. "I lost the first set and I was a little bit tight, so I still cannot believe I won."
World No.180 Osorio Serrano becomes the lowest-ranked WTA titlist since World No.299 Margarita Gasparyan won Tashkent 2018.
Former junior World No.1 and 2019 US Open girls' champion Osorio Serrano, 19, is the fourth teenage titlist on tour in 2021 following Iga Swiatek in Adelaide, Clara Tauson in Lyon and Leylah Fernandez in Monterrey.
She is also the third Colombian to capture the Bogota title in the tournament's 23-year history, joining four-time champion Fabiola Zuluaga (1999, 2002-04) and 2010 winner Mariana Duque-Mariño on the roll of honour.
"With this tournament, my calendar is going to be more open, I’ll have more options to play bigger tournaments, so I’m super, super happy with this win," Osorio Serrano said. "And of course that I’m home, with my family, with my friends, with my fans from Colombia.
"That was my dream, and kind of a goal, to win the tournament."
Osorio Serrano's last appearance in Bogota had been a significant breakthrough - as a wildcard ranked World No.438, she reached the 2019 quarterfinals, where she lost a high-quality three-setter to eventual champion Amanda Anisimova. This year, playing just her fourth WTA main draw, Osorio Serrano's talent was on display as she made the final without dropping a set.
The title match, a clash between two players both seeking their first title, was a test of fortitude. It was a nervy affair in which neither players' games flowed as easily as in previous rounds, and ultimately it was Osorio Serrano who fought with gusto and emerged on top of a gritty battle.
Osorio Serrano raced to lead 3-1 in the first set, but a flurry of double faults handed back the advantage as Zidansek, 23, came back to edge it. The Slovenian twice led by a break in the second set herself, but her normally rock-solid topspin forehand was still proving unreliable and her own serve was beginning to wobble. Zidansek had lost her only previous WTA final at Nürnberg 2019 from a set up to Yulia Putintseva, and there was a sense of déjà vu about this match arc.
Teeing off on Zidansek's second serve and showing off some flashy forehands, Osorio Serrano reeled off six straight games from 2-3 down to take a 2-0 lead in the third set. But the finishing line was almost as hard to cross for Osorio Serrano as it had been for Zidansek.
Eight of the decider's 10 games went to deuce - frequently several - as the two battled both each other and themselves. This was borne out in the final numbers - both players found 22 winners, but Osorio Serrano's 87 unforced errors were outdone by Zidansek's 90 - but it was nonetheless nailbiting entertainment. The quality also rose as the match drew on, with Zidansek pulling off a reflex volley loaded with so much spin that it bounced back to her own side of the court.
Osorio Serrano would lose her initial break, but regain it for 3-2. From there on in, Zidansek was not short of opportunities to get back on serve, but Osorio Serrano would save a total of seven break-back points in her last two service games, including five as she served for the title.
Having set up her first championship point with a forehand down the line, though, she delayed no further, and sealed the trophy on her first go as Zidansek netted a forehand.