GSTAAD, Switzerland - Local favorite Viktorija Golubic capped off a dream week by winning her first WTA title at the inaugural Ladies Championship Gstaad. Golubic defeated Kiki Bertens 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 after a two-hour battle to claim the title in her home country.
Playing on a seemingly rare sunny day at the rain-logged tournament, the Swiss No.105 Golubic got off to a rocky start against the No.3 seeded Bertens. Bertens climbed ahead after a tight opening set, breaking at 4-4 and rattling off the next two games.
"It was so tough when I lost the game at 4-4. I missed a lot of shots and made too many presents for her. Also she forced me to do some errors," Golubic said after the match.
"After that first set, I was just trying to get new energy," she added. "Just kinda try to start from new and think about my tactics. So from there, actually the match started from 0-0 for me."
The Swiss came to life from then and didn't look back, breaking to start the second set and doing so three more times to level the score. Golubic peppered her game with drop shots, giving Bertens plenty of trouble as yesterday the Dutch player was forced to withdraw from doubles due to a left calf injury.
"It's the same injury as in the French Open," Bertens admitted. "Yesterday I start to feel it a little bit again, so [the withdrawal] was just to protect it. But I didn't feel lit when I was playing, no."
Golubic stayed a step ahead, and closed out the marathon encounter after almost exactly two hours, much to the delight of the very pro-Swiss crowd.
? Ladies Open Gstaad (@WTA_Gstaad) July 17, 2016
"I think Viktorija played really well," Bertens said afterwards. "I won the first set, but I was not ready to push in the second set to get the win, and I think she was playing there really good. She went for her shots, so credit for her today.
"I tried to play aggressive but I missed a lot of shots and she was just all the time hanging in there. She defended really well."
Earlier in the year, Golubic's performance at the Ricoh Open turned heads when she reached her first ever WTA-level quarterfinals. Now just over a month later, the 23-year-old has claimed her first WTA title.
"Yeah, it's really amazing," Golubic reflected on her meteoric rise. "In March, I qualified for Katowice and won one round - that was the first time in more than a year that I qualify for a WTA event. In 's-Hertogenbosch, I played quarterfinals. That was such a new experience too.
"From that point on I improved even more, and to be here now as a winner is really incredible and amazing feeling."
"We never played before, but I am solid from the baseline and she's a killer at the net. This made us a good team. It was a great week for both of us," Arruabarrena said.
? WTA (@WTA) July 17, 2016