Teen qualifier Marketa Vondrousova captured her maiden WTA title at the inaugural Ladies Open Biel Bienne, edging past fellow first-time finalist Anett Kontaveit.
WTA Staff

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland - Marketa Vondrousova's fairytale week took her to her first WTA title at the inaugural Ladies Open Biel Bienne; in the battle of first-time finalists, Vondrousova knocked out Anett Kontaveit, 6-4, 7-6(6) in a thrilling championship match.

"It's the biggest win of my career, because I'd mostly played smaller tournaments, 25Ks and 60Ks," she said in her post-match press conference. "This was one of my first big tournaments, and I was injured in my left elbow for a lot of last year. I had to do a lot of fitness, which helped me become a better mover.

"Now I'm playing really great!"

Playing in just her second WTA main draw, Vondrousova came to Biel/Bienne on a roll from the ITF Circuit, having reached four finals and won two titles on that level to start the season.

"At first, I asked for a qualifying wildcard because I wasn't sure if I could get in without one. Once I got into qualies, I almost lost my first match, but I got better and better from there. I played so great the last few matches, so I'm really happy," she said, letting out a joyful sigh.

The Czech teenager had to qualify and battle past fellow rising stars Annika Beck and Kristyna Pliskova before earning her first career Top 20 win over top seed Barbora Strycova.

"We had goals to play Grand Slam qualifying because I was around No.220 before this tournament. So now I'll definitely be in qualies for sure, and I'll be changing my plans and think about it."

Against Kontaveit, she continued to employ her high-octane game to impressive effect, striking 28 winners to 26 unforced errors and edging past Kontaveit at the end of each set to take home her first title in one hour and 45 minutes.

"I was down 4-6 in the tiebreak. I got a bit lucky when she hit the net then, but it helped remind me to play my game, and it worked out from there. Thank God!"

Vondrousova is set to move up over 100 points in the rankings, shattering her previous career-high and putting her in striking distance of a Top 100 debut.

"I won a 15K and that was like a thousand dollars, so I definitely don't know what I'll do with the money I won here!" she joked of the over $40,000 prize money. "My mom will have to help me out!"

Earlier in the day, Hsieh Su-Wei won the battle of former doubles No.1s, pairing Monica Niculescu to outlast Olympic Silver medalists Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky, 5-7, 6-3, 10-7.

"It was a fun match because both don't just hit straight across, but also slice and lob," Hsieh said after the match. "They do a lot at the net, so it was a fun match to play, and plus Monica helps a lot."

"Su-Wei always plays like this!" Niculescu added. "If you know, Su-Wei, you know!"

Hingis and Bacsinszky were using the week in Biel/Bienne to prepare for the upcoming Fed Cup semifinal, where Switzerland takes on Belarus; they were also aiming to be the only Swiss women to win their home title, but Hsieh and Niculescu had other ideas, receiving the trophy from another Swiss Olympian, Giulia Steingruber, Bronze medalist on vault.

Biel Bienne

"It was a tough match," Niculescu continued. "I think the level was very good, and we playing some good tennis. Su-Wei and I were a good team. It was only our second time playing together, but we played amazing because we had to against Martina and Timea. You know what they did; they won the medal, won matches together, and they play good tennis.

"I'm so happy to play with Su-Wei; hopefully it's not the last time!"

All photos courtesy of Ladies Open Biel Bienne.