Sara Errani crowned her return to form with a dominant victory over Barbora Strycova in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
WTA Staff

DUBAI, UAE - Sara Errani crowned her return to form with a dominant victory over Barbora Strycova in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

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A former Top 10 fixture and French Open finalist, Errani's greater big-match experience shone through as she romped to a 6-0, 6-2 victory after little more than an hour on court.

"I have no words. I'm sorry for Barbora - she's an amazing player, but I'm really happy to win this tournament. It's been a tough week for me, and I'm really happy for me, my team and my family and friends," Errani told Annabel Croft in her on-court interview.

The Italian looked in pensive mood when she stepped out on court, but hit the ground running. Perhaps sensing her opponent's own nerves, Errani won the toss and elected to receive, a decision that was rewarded by a string of unforced errors and a break to love.

With the occasion seemingly getting the better of her opponent, Errani showed no mercy, rattling through the next couple of games in the blink of an eye. When Strycova belatedly found her range, Errani was her equal, showcasing her extraordinary defensive capabilities to prevail in a 26-shot exchange and move 4-0 ahead.

After 29 one-sided minutes, Strycova surrendered the set after a couple more wild swings, and her mood darkened further when she frittered away a 30-0 lead to drop serve in the next game.

Much to the Czech's relief, she finally got on the scoreboard a few games, punching away a double-fisted volley to end the prospect of a first whitewash in a WTA final since 2014.

But whatever questions Strycova posed, Errani had an answer for, ploughing relentlessly towards the finishing line.

"She can do everything - coming to the net, drop shots - so I just had to be focused every point and be ready for what could happen," Errani added.

The only wobble for Errani, who coughed up a meager 11 unforced errors, came with the finishing line looming. A face saving last stand from Strycova saw her uncork a couple of rasping drives to save four match points, before finally finding the net to hand Errani the ninth, and biggest, title of her career.

"No, not really! I was trying to sing a bit, not to think too much," Errani said when quizzed about her calm demeanor down the home stretch. "Of course, it's tough [to win] those last points. I had match point at 5-1 and then I closed it on maybe the fifth match point. There were a lot of nerves."

At times, Strycova was the architect of her own downfall, offsetting 15 winners with 43 unforced errors. Nevertheless, she heads off to Doha for next week's Qatar Total Open, back inside the Top 40 and with wins over a couple of in-form rivals - Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Garcia - under her belt.

"For sure, well done to Sara," Strycova said. "I'm sorry for keeping it so short. I tried everything, but nothing was working.

"It was a great week and I'm happy to make the final."

In the doubles final, Chuang Chia-Jung and Darija Jurak upset No.2 seeds Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, 6-4, 6-4.