NEW HAVEN, CT, USA -- Anna Blinkova of Russia notched the biggest singles title of her career on Sunday morning, easing past Usue Maitane Arconada of the United States, 6-4, 6-2, to capture the Oracle Challenger Series New Haven.
No.7-seeded Blinkova lost the first set she contested in the tournament, against Japan's Mayo Hibi, but she dropped no more sets the rest of the way to the WTA 125K Series title. The Russian dispatched four Americans in her last four matches, including a 6-2, 6-1 quarterfinal win over No.2 seed Jennifer Brady and a 6-2, 6-2 semifinal victory over No.3 seed Lauren Davis.
World No.84 Blinkova, who pushed World No.1 Naomi Osaka to three sets in the first round of the US Open last week, completed her title run in New Haven with a 76-minute win over her fellow 20-year-old Arconada. Blinkova won nearly 70 percent of points off of Arconada's second service, which led to a 7-for-12 break point conversion rate.
Unseeded Arconada, ranked World No.179, was also in the highest-level singles final of her career, which she reached after a 6-3, 5-7, 6-0 semifinal win over No.11 seed Heather Watson of Great Britain. The American converted four of her six break points in the final, but was unable to hold her own serve in the second set as Blinkova took control down the stretch.
Fiery forehands by Arconada led her to a break of Blinkova's service in the first game of the match, but Blinkova struck right back for 1-1 as a closely contested opening set got underway. Arconada regained the break before errors from the American allowed Blinkova to get back level at 3-3, and the Russian held for 4-3 with a backhand winner down the line to take her first lead of the day.
Arconada had to save a break point in a long game before holding for 4-4 with a forehand winner down the line. Blinkova, though, saw another chance in the American's next service game, after a netted miscue gave the Russian set point. There, with both players at the net after a dropshot by Arconada, Blinkova hit a backhand which Arconada clipped out of court, giving the No.7 seed a hard-earned one-set advantage.
Blinkova dropped serve in the opening game of the second set as well, this time at love, but once again, the Russian broke back immediately, blasting an error-forcing backhand to reach 1-1. This time around, it was the Russian who quickly eked ahead, earning a second service break with a return winner down the line to lead 3-1.
Arconada got back on serve in the next game with a down-the-line winner of her own, but Blinkova broke the American for a third straight time to regain the lead at 4-2. Two games later, Arconada fended off three match points, but the Russian garnered a fourth, which she converted after a long backhand by the American.
The singles final completed a perfect week in New Haven for Blinkova, as the Russian also won the doubles title. She and Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia defeated Americans Jamie Loeb and Arconada, 6-2, 4-6, [10-4] on Saturday to claim that crown.