No.7 seed Arantxa Rus ended the run of German wild card Noma Noha Akugue 6-0, 7-6(3) in Sunday's final of the Hamburg European Open to capture the first Hologic WTA Tour singles title of her career.
The match was assured to crown a first-time champion, and 32-year-old Rus, the oldest first-time finalist at a Hologic WTA Tour tournament in 17 years, Rus became the eighth first-time champion so far this year with a 1-hour and 45-minute win over the 19-year-old, who won four matches in her WTA main-draw debut this week to reach the final. Rus joins Zhu Lin (Hua Hin), Alycia Parks (Lyon), Marta Kostyuk (Austin), Lucia Bronzetti (Rabat), Katie Boulter (Nottingham), Maria Timofeeva (Budapest) and Zheng Qinwen (Palermo) in this achievement.
"The day was very long because I was very nervous all day long, but I'm happy that I could play good tennis and it was a great final from both of us [with] a lot of spectators and a very good atmosphere," Rus said afterward.
"I'm very proud of myself that after so many years, I made my first title."
How the match was won: The first final between two left-handed players in five years started squarely in favor of the Dutchwoman, who won the opening set without the loss of a game and in under an hour.
The second set, though, was much tighter. Noha Akugue broke serve in the first game to get on the board, and after Rus responded immediately, the pair stayed even through the next 11 games.
In the set's late stages, Noha Akugue showed much of the spirit that took her to the final in her tour-level debut. She saved two championship points to hold serve in the 10th game of the second set, and two more in the tiebreak, before eventually succumbing to defeat.
Rus' rise continues: The win is the latest in a series of late-career breakthroughs for the former World No.1 junior, who won the girls' singles title at the Australian Open back in 2008. She came into Hamburg at a career-high ranking of World No.60, and on the back of this result, is projected to break into the Top 50 for the first time on Monday.
She was playing in her 126th tour-level main-draw this week, making her the oldest first-time title-winner in the last 40 years.
No.1 vs. No.2 seeds in doubles final
In the doubles final, top-seeded Anna Danilina and Alexandra Panova eased to a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 2 seeds Miriam Kolodziejova and Angela Kulikov for their first title as a team.
The title is Danilina's fourth and Panova's eighth, individually. Panova had not won a doubles title in five years.
Kulikov was attempting to win the title in Hamburg for the second year running, having partnered fellow American Sophie Chang to their first title 12 months ago.