The inaugural champion at the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Volkers quite aptly is the top German player of this century, as Angelique Kerber took the crown with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.
"You play for these moments, being on court, playing in front of your fans, family, crowd," Kerber said after her win. "This is something really special. I’m really happy that I won this tournament, a special tournament at home. It means a lot to me, and after all the months which we’ve gone through, standing here with this trophy, it’s something great."
Kerber won her 13th career WTA singles title with the win, and her first title since she also triumphed on grass to win the third of her three Grand Slam titles at 2018 Wimbledon.
"Everyone knows I love to play on grass, and I really feel well," said Kerber, who was also a Wimbledon finalist in 2016. "Of course, to play the final here, with this atmosphere and these fans, it’s great. I love to play on this surface, let’s see and hope if I can continue this next week [at Wimbledon]."
In her first final in exactly two years, the No.4 seed Kerber was in commanding form as she swept to victory over the unseeded Czech in 1 hour and 25 minutes. It is Kerber's third time taking home a trophy on home soil, following back-to-back titles in Stuttgart in 2015-2016.
Former World No.1 Kerber had to fight through two comeback wins on Friday to reach the final, including a victory over top seed Petra Kvitova via a third-set tiebreak in the semifinals.
But Kerber seemed energized the whole match, winning 77 percent of points when returning the second serve of Siniakova. Kerber was able to then convert six of her 13 break points en route to victory.
After a gripping start to the match where four of the first seven games were won with pristine returning, it was Kerber who took charge for good at 4-3. There, she earned her third break point of the game with a stunning error-forcing angled groundstroke, then was rewarded with a double fault by Siniakova to put the German ahead 5-3.
Serving for the set, another grueling game took place, where Kerber herself had to save three break points, the third being erased with a cracking forehand winner down the line. The next rally also ended with a down-the-line forehand winner by Kerber, queuing up set point. Kerber converted that chance, firing a big backhand to get a netted reply from Siniakova.
Siniakova had passes up her sleeve as well, using one from her sturdy backhand side to level the second set at 2-2. But Kerber continued to pull errors from the Czech’s forehand as she reeled off game after game to pull away. By the end, Kerber had won the last four games of the match, converting her third match point after forcing another error to notch the win at home.
Now Kerber moves on to Wimbledon, where she has a 31–11 career win-loss record, including her 2018 title, her 2016 final and a run to the semis in 2012.
"I’m going without expectations, like I played here: every single round is a win," Kerber said. "I will just focus on every single match, every single round, and enjoy the time on and off court, like here."
In doubles, it was the No.1 seeds who took home the Bad Homburg title, as Darija Jurak of Croatia and Andreja Klepac of Slovenia defeated No.2 seeds Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine and Raluca Olaru of Romania, 6-3, 6-1.
Top-seeded Jurak and Klepac needed just over an hour to win, going one better than their previous best showing as a team, when they finished as runners-up to Coco Gauff and Caty McNally earlier this season in Parma.
The Bad Homburg crown marks Jurak's eighth career WTA doubles title, while Klepac now has nine. It is Jurak's second title of the season; she paired with Alexa Guarachi to win in Dubai.
The top seeds were nearly impeccable on delivery in the final, winning 80 percent of points behind their first serves. Jurak and Klepac saved all four of the break points they faced as they swept to the championship trophy.