Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia pulled off a superb comeback to win her first WTA singles title at the Ladies Open Lausanne on Sunday, overcoming Clara Burel of France, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 in the championship match.
"I’m really happy I managed to win it, and now I got that under my belt," Zidansek said, following her victory.
No.1 seed Zidansek fought back from a set and an early break down to triumph on the clay courts of Switzerland, moving past former top-ranked junior Burel in just over two hours of play. It was the first time Zidansek had defeated a French player at tour-level (0-2 previously).
Zidansek extends her breakthrough season, which has seen her make her Top 50 debut following a career-best Grand Slam result at Roland Garros, where she gritted her way to the semifinals.
"Semifinals of Roland Garros showed me that my game is good enough to compete with the best," Zidansek said. "I’m really happy with the way I played there, and it just showed that I can be there."
Twice a singles runner-up at WTA events, including earlier this season in Bogota, 23-year-old Zidansek at last entered the winner’s circle at WTA-level in Lausanne.
"I managed to pull through and win every match at the end, and today was the same thing," said Zidansek, who had three three-set victories this week.
Burel won the first eight points of the match en route to a dominant 4-0 lead in the first set. The groundstrokes which served Burel well early on failed her when she served for the set for the first time at 5-2, but she rebounded to claim a love hold two games later, wrapping up the opener with a backhand winner.
"The conditions were tricky, I didn’t start well," Zidansek said. "But from 1-5, I got three [consecutive] games, and I started feeling a little bit better. I just kept telling myself to keep fighting, go for every point. In tennis, everything can change in one point, so I’m really happy with the way I managed to stay in the match."
Zidansek made her move in the second set with more positive play in the forecourt, coming back from an early break down at 1-0 to grab four of the next five games and lead 4-2. However, Burel righted the ship, slamming a forehand winner to pull back on serve at 4-3.
The pair advanced to a critical tiebreak, where Burel’s sturdy forehand gave her a 4-2 lead. However, Zidansek matched her shot for shot, forcing errors from the Frenchwoman to steer the breaker to 5-5 and keep her in the match.
At that juncture, just two points away from an upset victory, the Burel forehand faltered, with two errors in a row from that side ceding the second set to Zidansek.
From that point forward, it was Zidansek who took control. The Slovene continued to pressure Burel with her returns and was rewarded with a quick double-break lead for 4-1. After a breezy hold for 5-1, Zidansek swiftly stormed to championship point with a forehand return winner, and clinched the crown after a backhand miscue by Burel.
Also on Sunday, the Lausanne crowd had homeland heroines to celebrate, as the all-Swiss pairing of Susan Bandecchi and Simona Waltert claimed the doubles title.
The wildcard team defeated Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway and Valentini Grammatikopoulou of Greece, 6-3, 6-7(3), [10-5]. It was the first WTA doubles final for all four of the competitors.
That Championship Winning Feeling 🤩— wta (@WTA) July 18, 2021
🇨🇭 Susan Bandecchi & Simona Waltert 🇨🇭 def. Eikeri & Grammatikopoulou in a championship tie-break to win the #LadiesOpenLausanne doubles title!🏆 pic.twitter.com/dm1OeHiI2X
Bandecchi and Waltert had to stare down 11 break points in the match, but they were able to erase eight of those as they moved to a whisker-thin victory over their fellow unseeded pairing.
The Swiss duo raced to a 6-1 lead in the decisive match-tiebreak, then held on from there to convert their first match point at 9-5, after almost two hours of play.