A final between two unseeded players at the Chicago Women's Open saw Viktoriya Tomova defeat Claire Liu 6-1, 6-4 in 75 minutes to capture her first WTA 125 title.

The 28-year-old Bulgarian had previously been runner-up at this level once, losing the 2022 Budapest 125 final to Tamara Korpatsch. However, she prevented Liu, the 2022 Paris 125 champion, from adding a second WTA 125 trophy to her collection with a display of solid tennis in windy conditions.

Liu rarely found her rhythm at net, usually the bedrock of her game, leading to a series of mistimed volley errors. No.104-ranked Tomova used the conditions to her advantage, drawing Liu in with short balls before pulling off passing shots and lobs. Only at the end of the match did Tomova falter, missing her first championship point at 5-2 and failing to serve out the win in the next game. However, she steadied herself to break Liu once again, converting her second championship point as the American sent another volley wide.

Tomova had to battle challenging conditions all week as play was repeatedly delayed due to WBGT values over the limit, and found her matches delayed overnight twice. On Thursday, she upset No.4 seed Alizé Cornet 6-4, 7-6(5) in the morning, then returned to reach the brink of victory against No.8 seed Kamilla Rakhimova. Tomova finished that match off 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Saturday, then returned to take out No.5 seed Lucia Bronzetti 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Liu also had her share of gruelling contests. In the quarterfinals, she came from 5-3 down in the third set, saving two match points, to defeat No.6 seed Rebeka Masarova 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(3) in 3 hours and 33 minutes -- the second-longest match of the 2023 WTA 125 season so far.

In the semifinals, Liu was able to advance after just 16 minutes after Cristina Bucsa retired trailing 2-1 due to a left ankle injury.

Bucsa's injury also prevented the Spaniard from contesting the doubles final alongside partner Alexandra Panova. Instead, No.1 seeds Ulrikke Eikeri and Ingrid Neel won the final by walkover. The Norwegian-Estonian duo had already captured their first tour-level title together in Nottingham this June.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon junior champion Clervie Ngounoue, 17, scored her first win at WTA 125 level, defeating Robin Anderson 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 before falling 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 to Rakhimova in the second round.