In a clash of first-time Hologic WTA Tour finalists at the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem, it was Martina Trevisan who came away with her maiden title after defeating Claire Liu 6-2, 6-1 in 1 hour and 32 minutes.
Trevisan, 28, is the second first-time champion in 2022, following Anastasia Potapova in Istanbul. She is also the fourth Italian winner in Morocco, following Rita Grande at Casablanca 2003, Alberta Brianti at Fes 2011 and Francesca Schiavone at Marrakech 2013.
No.85-ranked Trevisan ended an eight-match winning streak for Liu, who was the Paris 125 champion the week prior to Rabat. The 2020 Roland Garros quarterfinalist extended her 2022 record to 15-10 (7-4 in WTA main draws).
Trevisan's late-blooming success comes after she spent much of her early career sidelined by anorexia and injury. Afterwards, she dedicated the win to her father Claudio, saying:
"I would like to dedicate this trophy to my dad. He can't see me in this moment but I know he would be very proud of me. He is a fighter like me during this week, but during his whole life - so this is for you, dad."
Match management: The first set was a good deal closer than the scoreline suggests, with all but two of the games going to deuce. Trevisan's focus on the big points proved key: she won all four of the multi-deuce tussles, and despite facing a total of nine break points across each of her service games, managed to save eight of them.
Liu, 21, found early success by employing chip-and-charge tactics, but backed off this approach after Trevisan began to nail her passing shots. Trevisan, by contrast, found a perfect balance between offense with bold down-the-line shotmaking and solid defense that lured Liu into error.
In the second set, Trevisan went from strength to strength while Liu fell away. The No.92-ranked American saved break point to hold in the first game, but then lost six games on the trot, missing one more break point along the way.
In total, Trevisan scored 15 winners to 22 unforced errors, while Liu's 17 winners were heavily outweighed by 44 unforced errors. The latter came in bunches as the match slipped away from her: Trevisan won 10 out of 11 points en route to a 3-1 lead, and also reeled off 15 of the last 18 points.
What's next: Both players will head to Paris for Roland Garros, where Trevisan faces Harriet Dart in the first round and Liu takes on No.24 seed Tamara Zidansek.
Hozumi, Ninomiya pick up second title of 2022
No.1 seeds Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya took the doubles title with a 6-7(7), 6-3, [10-8] win over No.2 seeds Monica Niculescu and Alexandra Panova in the final.
The Japanese pair were runners-up at Roland Garros 2018, but only lifted their first trophy together at the Adelaide 250 in January. Rabat is a fourth career title for Hozumi, and a fifth for Ninomiya.
Hozumi and Ninomiya bounced back from a first set in which they saved the first five set points they faced before holding one of their own, only for Niculescu and Panova to save that and convert their sixth. A single break of serve decided the second set, and Hozumi and Ninomiya took control of the match tiebreak after coming back from 2-0 down.