Ajla Tomljanovic's comeback from injury continued successfully on Sunday, when the Australian defeated Argentina's Martina Capurro Taborda 6-1, 7-5 to win the WTA 125 MundoTenis Open title in Florianopolis, Brazil.
Tomljanovic, one of the featured players in Netflix's "Break Point," took 1 hour and 48 minutes to triumph in Sunday's final, holding off a second-set surge by World No.194 Capurro Taborda.
This is 30-year-old Tomljanovic's highest-level singles title, in a career which is highlighted by three Grand Slam quarterfinals and four Hologic WTA Tour finals. It is also her first singles title at any level since she won her fourth career ITF Challenger title ten years ago.
Tomljanovic had been on a roll at the end of 2022, having reached Grand Slam quarterfinals at both Wimbledon and the US Open that season. During that US Open run, she defeated Serena Williams in the 23-time Grand Slam champion's final match of her career.
But at the start of 2023, Tomljanovic had to withdraw from all events in her home country of Australia due to a knee injury. Despite reaching a career-high ranking of No.32 in April, Tomljanovic did not play a match for the first seven months of this year.
Tomljanovic returned to action at the US Open at the end of August, and she held a win-loss record of 2-3 for the year coming into Florianopolis. She started this week at a ranking of No.543 and took a wild card into the MundoTenis Open draw.
Tomljanovic grinded through her first two matches of the week, including saving four match points in her second-round victory over Ipek Oz. But after surviving that tussle, Tomljanovic eased through the rest of the draw, winning her next three matches without the loss of a set.
In Sunday's final, Tomljanovic breezed through the first set in half an hour, but left-handed Capurro Taborda stayed much closer after that. The 25-year-old Argentine saved three break points in a seven-deuce game to begin the grueling second set.
Tomljanovic did not serve out the match at 5-4, and Capurro Taborda found some aggressive play to fend off two break points in the next game. But Tomljanovic outlasted the Argentine in a rally to convert her third chance, setting up another opportunity to serve for the title.
On that occasion, Tomljanovic came through. The Aussie watched a Capurro Taborda backhand sail out of bounds on her first championship point to capture her first WTA 125 title.
In Saturday's doubles final, Italy's Sara Errani and Leolia Jeanjean of France claimed the title with a 7-5, 3-6, [10-7] victory over Julia Lohoff of Germany and Switzerland's Conny Perrin.
Errani and Jeanjean needed 1 hour and 25 minutes to hold off their opponents and halt Lohoff and Perrin's seven-match winning streak. Lohoff and Perrin won last week's WTA 125 doubles title in Colina, Chile.
Errani, a former World No.1 in doubles and World No.5 in singles, won her second career WTA 125 doubles title this week, to go alongside her 43 Hologic WTA Tour doubles titles -- including the Career Grand Slam. Jeanjean won her first WTA 125 doubles title this week.