Wild card CoCo Vandeweghe ended No.2 seed Bernarda Pera's 16-match winning streak 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the final of the Thoreau Tennis Open to capture her biggest title in over six years at the WTA 125 event.
The American also teamed up with Varvara Flink to win her first doubles title since the 2018 US Open.
"Luckily, I did not know she was on a 16-match winning streak," said Vandeweghe after defeating Pera. "So that might have been the key for me winning today. But just sticking with what I knew I could accomplish against her. Attacking the balls I could attack, and just weathering the storm."
For over four years, former World No.9 Vandeweghe has battled a series of injuries and health conditions including a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome and a freak microwave accident that required reconstructive surgery on a finger. She has not been ranked inside the Top 100 since February 2019, and her last singles title at any level was at 's-Hertogenbosch 2016.
Vandeweghe, 30, came into Concord ranked No.192, with her best result in 2022 being a quarterfinal run in Charleston as a lucky loser. Her title run also featured a win over No.1 seed Clara Tauson 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, and a fellow former Top 20 player in Wang Qiang 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals.
In the final, two-time major semifinalist Vandeweghe's serve enabled her to hold off fellow American Pera. She landed 12 aces in total and was not broken until the penultimate game of the second set. But Vandeweghe's return also rose to the occasion when needed.
In the decider, Pera twice got back on serve from a break down, only for Vandeweghe to inch ahead again. Vandeweghe sealed the title with a break to love, seizing her first championship point with a hefty backhand return that drew the error from Pera.
No.56-ranked Pera still underlined her credentials as one of this summer's most improved players. The 27-year-old had captured her first two Hologic WTA Tour titles back-to-back on European clay last month in Budapest and Hamburg. On a different surface and continent, she made a third consecutive final, notably saving one match point in the second round to advance 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 over Anna Blinkova.
Scott continues to surge, Wang Qiang finds form
In 2021, American teenager Katrina Scott hit the milestone of a first WTA 125 quarterfinal in Concord. One year on, the 18-year-old went one better. After coming through qualifying, Scott went all the way to the semifinals, where Pera halted her run 6-4, 6-2.
Scott has already won three ITF W25 titles in 2022, compiled a 31-10 record and risen to No.242 in the rankings. In Concord, she advanced over Karolina Muchova in the second round after a wrist injury forced the Czech to retire trailing 6-3, 4-0. In the quarterfinals, Scott triumphed in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 barnburner over wildcard Taylor Townsend, who was playing the sixth event of her comeback from maternity leave.
Former World No.12 Wang also impressed in reaching her second hard-court semifinal in a row. The Chinese player had made the last four in Prague two weeks ago, and came through a second-round rollercoaster over No.5 seed Viktorija Golubic 6-0, 0-6, 6-3 before ending No.4 seed Magdalena Frech's title defence in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-4.
Elsewhere, Harmony Tan returned to action for the first time since her breakthrough run to the Wimbledon fourth round. The Frenchwoman made the second round before losing from four match points up against Katie Volynets 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(4).
Flink, Vandeweghe capture doubles crown
Fresh off ending her singles title drought, Vandeweghe returned to the court to capture her first doubles title in nearly four years, partnering Varvara Flink to defeat Peangtarn Plipuech and Moyuka Uchijima 6-3, 7-6(3).
Vandeweghe is a four-time doubles champion at tour level, with her greatest success coming at the 2018 US Open alongside Ashleigh Barty. This week marked the first time she had teamed up with Flink, who was also competing in her first doubles draw of the season at any level.
Flink, who gave birth to first daughter Kaya in November 2020, returned to the tour in April 2021 and has now won the first title above ITF level of her career in either discipline.
Defending champion Plipuech collected the first of two WTA 125 doubles trophies last year in Concord alongside Jessy Rompies, but the Thai player partnered fast-rising 21-year-old Uchijima to return to this year's final.