After a singles title drought of over a year, Barbora Krejcikova is a singles champion once again on the Hologic WTA Tour.
The No.7 seed from the Czech Republic dispatched No.1 seed and homeland hope Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3 at the inaugural Tallinn Open on Sunday, winning her fourth career singles title and her first of the season.
"Really proud how I was able to bring my best performance for the final," Krejcikova said afterward. "I was expecting that Anett is going to play fast and she would try to put me under pressure from the first point. So I was just trying to play my game, and just trying to eliminate that.
"I just really wanted to go out there and play my best tennis and just try to enjoy the final, because it took me a lot of fight and energy to get there."
Krejcikova claimed her first three singles titles during a three-month span last year, including a maiden Grand Slam singles title at 2021 Roland Garros.
But after triumphing on home soil in Prague last July, Krejcikova had only made one singles final since, which she lost to Paula Badosa at Sydney in January.
Krejcikova at last booked a spot in another singles final this week in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, where she faced down crowd favorite Kontaveit, the best-ranked player in Estonia’s history.
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In the championship match, featuring two players who had both peaked at World No.2 earlier this year, Krejcikova prevailed in 1 hour and 21 minutes to dash the crowd's hopes of a home-soil title for Kontaveit.
Krejcikova won 71 percent of points returning the Kontaveit second serve while also winning 68 percent of her own second-service points, collecting her sixth career win over a Top 10 player in the process. The result also snapped Kontaveit's 24-match winning streak on indoor hard court.
What a week 🏆@BKrejcikova pic.twitter.com/7nFemVQ6L9— wta (@WTA) October 2, 2022
Krejcikova blasted her way to a break for 4-2 behind pinpoint groundstrokes from both wings. The Czech broke Kontaveit again two games later, wrapping up the set with a drop shot winner. Krejcikova had six winners to five unforced errors in the opener, while Kontaveit fired 13 unforced errors to just three winners.
In a back-and-forth second set, each player was up by a break before even reaching 3-3. But Krejcikova took charge again, slamming a forehand winner down the line to break for 5-3. Krejcikova grabbed the title after a wide Kontaveit forehand on the Czech’s first championship point.
Krejcikova's singles rebound is bolstered by another incredible year for her in doubles. She and Katerina Siniakova won three of this year's Grand Slam events in women's doubles, at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
"Every trophy is special, especially in singles right now, where this year was really tough, so it means a lot," Krejcikova said. "It was a really amazing week, a special week."
The doubles final closed out the tournament, where twin sisters and No.3 seeds Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine eked past No.1 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez of the United States and Laura Siegemund of Germany 7-5, 4-6, [10-7].
The Kichenok sisters needed just under two hours to edge the top seeds and take the crown. It is the eighth WTA doubles title for both Lyudmyla and Nadiia individually, and their fourth as a team.