Alizé Cornet saved a match point and battled more than three hours to edge first-time WTA finalist Camila Giorgi for the BNP Paribas Katowice Open title.
WTA Staff

KATOWICE, Poland - Alizé Cornet showed off her fighting spirit to win an absolute marathon of a final at the BNP Paribas Katowice Open on Sunday, coming away with the fourth WTA title of her career.

Giorgi showed off some fighting spirit too, though. Playing in the first WTA final of her career, the Italian dropped a lengthy 69-minute first set in a tie-break and faced some pretty daunting deficits in the second set - 3-0 then later 5-3, and even two points from losing in that game - but she won four games in a row to push the match to a third set, keeping her hopes of a maiden WTA title very alive.

Cornet was the frontrunner once again for most of that third set, winning the first three games for a 3-0 lead, but an inspired Giorgi came charging back again, winning five of the next six games to go up 5-4 - she even got herself to match point in that game, with Cornet stepping up to serve at 30-40.

But a missed backhand return brought it back to deuce, and from there it was all Cornet - the No.4-seeded Frenchwoman held, broke then held at love to end it, 76(3) 57 75, and then fell to the ground.

"What a match," Cornet said afterwards. "It was definitely a huge fight, which is what I expected, and I had to save a match point to win the title, so it feels very special. I gave everything I had.

"I'm so happy I could win here at this beautiful tournament in Katowice."

At three hours and 11 minutes it was the fifth-longest match of the year. The longest match of the year so far was Maria Sharapova's three-hour, 28-minute victory over Karin Knapp at the Australian Open.

Cornet also becomes just the second player this year to save match point en route to a WTA title, after Li Na, who saved a match point against Lucie Safarova en route to winning the Australian Open.

And all this a day after Cornet's massive win over Agnieszka Radwanska, her second win over a Top 4 player in the last two months - and before that she had never beaten one of the Top 4 in her career.

Giorgi had a very memorable week herself too. Before this week she had never even been to a WTA quarterfinal, let alone all the way to a final - and by beating Roberta Vinci and Carla Suárez Navarro this was just the second time she beat two Top 20 players at the same event, after Wimbledon in 2012.