BOGOTA, Colombia -- American teenager Amanda Anisimova clinched her first-ever WTA singles title at the Claro Open Colsanitas on Sunday, engineering a comeback from a set and a break down to quell the breakthrough week of Astra Sharma of Australia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
"I think this was a pretty big goal because I overcame so many challenges this week," Anisimova told the WTA website, after her win. "I’m really happy and proud of myself for how I got through them, and winning my first WTA title means so much."
More quotes from Anisimova: 'It's a huge deal' - Anisimova revels in first WTA title after Bogota epic
No.6 seed Anisimova was two games away from defeat at 6-4, 4-4, but the 17-year-old used the steeliness that has been evident all week to claim a third straight three-set win and clinch her maiden trophy in one hour and 43 minutes.
World No.76 Anisimova had reached her first final last year in Hiroshima, before losing in straight sets to Hsieh Su-wei. The teenager also had yet to claim a clay-court win at WTA-level before her tremendous week in Bogota.
Both players had success returning serve, with 14 combined service breaks during the match. Anisimova finished the match with two more winners than Sharma, 19 to 17, while the Australian outpaced the American in unforced errors by 36 to 34.
World No.138 Sharma, the former collegiate star out of Vanderbilt University, can still take solace in a superb week, which saw her reach her maiden WTA quarterfinal and beyond and nudge closer to a Top 100 debut. Sharma also partnered her compatriot Zoe Hives to win the first WTA doubles title for each of them on Saturday.
The championship match opened with five straight breaks of serve, as the two hard-hitting players were cracking aggressive returns but struggling with their deliveries in the high altitude of Bogota.
Sharma ended the streak with a hold for 4-2, but Anisimova subsequently got her first service hold for 4-3, then pulled back level at 4-4, snatching Sharma’s serve after the Australian had two game points. However, Anisimova dropped serve once more, fending off three break points in the game but sending a backhand wide on Sharma’s fourth chance.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Sharma had a tremendous game, hitting three winners, including an ace, to garner triple set point. Another forehand winner closed out the opening frame for the 23-year-old Australian.
Sharma struck first in the second set, going up an early break before Anisimova leveled at 2-2. Sharma again took a single-break lead at 3-2, maneuvering through a four-deuce game, but the Australian dropped serve directly after, hitting three double faults in the game before Anisimova used a strong return to get level again at 3-3.
At 4-4, Anisimova staved off a break point, which would have allowed Sharma a chance to serve for the match had the Australian not pushed a return wide. Anisimova jumped on her chances in the next game, blasting a winning backhand on the baseline to garner double set point. A long forehand by Sharma ended the set, and the encounter was suddenly dead even.
From that juncture, Anisimova took control of the clash. Sharma fired unforced errors to drop serve and give the American a 2-0 lead, and Anisimova held firm, erasing two break points in the next game to consolidate and hold for 3-0.
Sharma stuck a volley to get through a protracted game and hold for 3-1, but Anisimova was on a mission in the decider, holding at love for 4-1 and then using a stirring passing shot for a clean winner and another break. Serving for the match at 5-1, the American teenager was untroubled and swiftly polished off the tilt to hoist her first-ever WTA singles trophy.