No.8 seed Anastasia Potapova clinched her second career Hologic WTA Tour singles title on Sunday, cruising past No.6 seed Petra Martic 6-3, 6-1 in the Upper Austria Ladies Linz final.
Potapova defeated Martic in the second round of her first title run at Istanbul last year, and she beat the Croatian once again during her second title run, this time in a 1-hour and 16-minute final. Potapova has now edged ahead in their head-to-head by 2-1.
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Words from the winner: "Well, it was a tough week," said Potapova, who won her first four matches in three sets. "Let’s be honest, it was an unexpected result at the end, as I came here not in the best conditions. I was in pain, I was a little bit injured everywhere, let’s say.
"After the first match, I just said, ‘Well, if I can bring this level, maybe I can try to go further and further in the draw.’ I managed to do this, and every day I was feeling better and better, and it turned out that on the final day, I was as fresh as I could be, and I felt even better than before the first round. It’s funny but it’s true."
Stat corner: World No.43 Potapova excelled returning the Martic second serve all day, winning 73 percent of those points (19 of 26). Potapova used that to convert five of her 10 break points while ceding her own service only once.
This is Potapova's first title on hard court, joining her clay-court title in Istanbul. Potapova had previously lost two hard-court finals, at Tashkent in 2018 and Prague last year.
With the victory, 21-year-old Potapova is projected to hit a new career-high ranking by rising into the Top 35 of the WTA singles rankings for the first time on Monday.
Believe it, Anastasia.— wta (@WTA) February 12, 2023
You're the champion in Linz!@nastiaapotapova | @WTALinz | #WTALinz pic.twitter.com/M6q5YfpBwT
Match moments: After dropping serve at love to open the match, Potapova was in danger in her next service game as well. Potapova had to save four break points in a seven-deuce game before getting on the scoreboard and avoiding a double-break deficit.
After that, though, Potapova took charge. She got back on serve at 2-2 after another lengthy game, converting her fifth break point with a backhand crosscourt winner.
Potapova never faced another break point all day. She broke Martic for 5-3, served out the first set with ease, then dropped only a total of two points on her serve in the second set.
Championship point SAVED 😲— wta (@WTA) February 12, 2023
Natela Dzalamidze/@KuzmovaViktoria outlast Friedsam/Kichenok 4-6, 7-5, [12-10] to take the doubles title in Linz!@WTALinz | #WTALinz pic.twitter.com/VAu3RnHZLP
Dramatic doubles: Natela Dzalamidze and Viktoria Kuzmova saved a championship point in the Linz doubles final, then took the title with a 4-6, 7-5, [12-10] win over Anna-Lena Friedsam and Nadiia Kichenok.
Dzalamidze and Kuzmova stared down the championship point on their own serve at 9-8 in the match-tiebreak, but they held on for 9-9 on the way to collecting four of the last five points of the match.
It is Dzalamidze's third career doubles title, and her most recent title since she won the 2021 Linz title alongside Kamilla Rakhimova. It is Kuzmova's fourth career doubles title, and her first since 2021 as well.