No.4 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic prevailed in a grueling battle between Grand Slam champions on Saturday, besting Sofia Kenin of the United States 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to win the WTA 500 Cymbiotika San Diego Open title.

Krejcikova, the 2021 Roland Garros champion, needed 2 hours and 38 minutes to defeat 2020 Australian Open titlist Kenin and capture her seventh career Hologic WTA Tour singles title. Krejcikova improved to 2-0 against Kenin with the victory.

"It was a big battle," Krejcikova said, after her win. "I knew it was going to be difficult, that [Kenin] was going to go for every single ball and that she was going to fight until the end."

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Turnaround complete: Krejcikova entered San Diego on a four-match losing streak, which included an injury retirement in the second round of Wimbledon and a first-round loss to Lucia Bronzetti at the US Open. However, the former World No.2 surged back to top form this week.

"I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches," Krejcikova said. "So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title]."

San Diego marks Krejcikova's second title of the year. In February, Krejcikova won the WTA 1000 title in Dubai, beating the three top-ranked players in the world at the time (Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula) in her last three matches that week.

Gripping final: This week in California, Krejcikova was pushed to the limit in the final by former World No.4 Kenin, who was contesting her first final on tour since she finished runner-up at 2020 Roland Garros nearly three years ago.

In the opening set, Krejcikova came back from a break down twice, eventually claiming the one-set lead by carving a deft forehand into the forecourt to force a Kenin error. 

However, Kenin broke serve in the opening game of the second set, then saved four break points during a hold for 4-2 to maintain her lead. Kenin slammed an ace to wrap up the second set, in which the American had the same amount of winners and six fewer unforced errors than Krejcikova.

In the decisive third set, both players locked down their service games, with no break points for either through 4-4. Krejcikova was the first to face break points in the decider, and the Czech erased four in a hold for 5-4, preventing Kenin from serving for the title.

In the following game, Krejcikova obtained her first break points of the set, which doubled as championship points. Krejcikova netted a return on her first championship point, but Kenin sent a backhand wide on the second, and Krejcikova returned to the winner’s circle.

Krejcikova doubles up: Shortly after she won the singles title, Krejcikova came back on court to win the doubles title as well. She and regular partner Katerina Siniakova notched a 6-1, 6-4 victory over the wild-card pairing of Danielle Collins and CoCo Vandeweghe.

No.1 seeds Krejcikova and Siniakova have won 16 doubles titles as a team, including seven Grand Slams. They had not taken home a championship trophy since they won Indian Wells in March, but this week, the Czechs triumphed after a 66-minute final.