Tamara Korpatsch of Germany claimed the first WTA 125 title of her career after gritting through a back-and-forth final at the Budapest Ladies Open on Saturday.
Qualifier Korpatsch, ranked World No.118, outlasted 109th-ranked Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 6-0 in a 2-hour and 50-minute championship match in the Hungarian capital, earning the highest-level title of her career to date.
Korpatsch notched seven wins during the clay-court event, garnering two victories in the qualifying rounds before prevailing in the main draw. Four of Korpatsch's five main-draw victories this week were three-setters.
The German had already posted a career-best WTA 125 result earlier this year, reaching her first final at that level in Marbella this spring. Korpatsch was defeated by Mayar Sherif in that final, but she utilized that experience to go one better in Budapest.
"I feel very happy," Korpatsch said, after her victory. "I had one more chance [to win a WTA 125] in Marbella in April of this year, and I lost the final. This time I used my chance."
Overall, Korpatsch has won her last 12 matches at all levels. In her previous tournament, she claimed the ITF Challenger event in Montreux, Switzerland, also on clay.
Korpatsch held a commanding 4-0 head-to-head edge over Tomova coming into the final, but they had not met since 2018.
Eager to stake a claim in their rivalry, Tomova took a 3-0, double-break lead in the first set on Saturday, saving six break points during the 1-0 game in the process.
But aggressive play by Korpatsch, particularly off the forehand side, increasingly paid dividends in the opener, and she pulled back to parity after saving two set points at 5-4. In the tiebreak, Korpatsch continued to find powerful forehands and was rewarded with the one-set lead.
In the second set, it was Korpatsch who led by a double-break at 3-0, and she served for the match at 5-4. But Tomova surged back, moving Korpatsch around the court, often with well-timed drop shots. In another tiebreak, the Bulgarian won the final three points to tie up the clash.
The first two sets took over an hour apiece, but in arguably the biggest twist of the day, the third set was one-sided. Korpatsch found consistent range on her groundstrokes, and she dominated the decider. Korpatsch, who was broken six times in the first two sets, never faced a break point in the final set.
"I’m very glad that I won after losing the second set," Korpatsch said. "It was really hard, I almost lost my hope to win this. But I’m very happy that I won the third set so clearly."
Later on Saturday, the local spectators were treated to triumph by one of their countrywomen, as Hungary's Anna Bondar teamed with Belgium's Kimberley Zimmermann to take the doubles title.
No.1 seeds Bondar and Zimmermann topped the unseeded all-Czech pairing of Jesika Maleckova and Renata Voracova 6-3, 2-6, [10-5] in 1 hour and 21 minutes in the doubles final.
This is the first WTA 125 doubles title for both Bondar and Zimmermann. The duo previously teamed up to win a Hologic WTA Tour doubles title earlier this year in Palermo.