Wang Yafan and Tatjana Maria emerged as singles champions at this week's WTA 125 hard-court events after speedy final victories in Stanford, USA and Barranquilla, Colombia respectively.
At the Golden Gate Open in Stanford, California, Chinese qualifier Wang dispatched No.2 seed Kamilla Rakhimova 6-2, 6-0 in Saturday's final. Wang erased the lone break point she faced in the 67-minute final.
"I think because she plays very fast, I was thinking I need some differences, maybe go a little bit lob, or a little bit slice, and change something," Wang said afterwards. "Not just hitting, hitting. I think it was working today. It’s a good plan for this match."
It is the first WTA 125 title for former Top 50 player Wang, who also won a Hologic WTA Tour 250 title at Acapulco in 2019.
Wang missed seven months of play at the end of last year and saw her ranking dip to No.696 this March. But she has amassed a 53-10 win-loss record in her return this year, primarily at ITF Challenger events. With this title, Wang is edging closer to returning to the Top 100 already.
"I just went to Australia to start in ITFs, and first two weeks I’m feeling, ‘Yeah, I played good,’" Wang said. "But because I didn’t train too much for last year, the body and fitness was a little bit worse for matches and tournaments. I'd just go every day and start again, start training.
"I didn't play too many tournaments every week, just maybe two or three weeks, and rest a little. ... Now I try to enjoy the matches. My coach and my husband tell me, ‘Don’t think about it, just play and enjoy and be happy your tennis is fine.’"
The Golden Gate Open doubles title went to Great Britain's Jodie Burrage and Australia's Olivia Gadecki, who edged past Americans Hailey Baptiste and Claire Liu 7-6(4), 6-7(6), [10-8] in a 2-hour and 5-minute final on Saturday.
It is the first WTA 125 doubles title for both Burrage and Gadecki, who teamed up for the first time this week.
At the Barranquilla Open on Saturday, No.1 seed Maria of Germany bested France's Fiona Ferro 6-1, 6-2 in the championship match. Maria converted six of her 10 break points in the 68-minute final, winning her first WTA 125 title in the process.
Last year's Wimbledon semifinalist Maria continues to excel in Colombia. Two of her three Hologic WTA Tour singles titles have come in Colombia -- she won the WTA 250 event in Bogota last year and successfully defended that title this year.
The Barranquilla Open doubles title was won by the Greek duo of Valentini Grammatikopoulou and Despina Papamichail, who edged Colombian hopes Yuliana Lizarazo and Maria Paulina Perez Garcia 7-6(2), 7-5 in Saturday's final.
Playing together for the first time since 2020, Grammatikopoulou and Papamichail each notched their first WTA 125 doubles title with the win.