Yanina Wickmayer battled back from a set and a break down to beat a WTA Rising Star and win her first WTA title since 2010 at the Japan Women's Open Tennis in Tokyo.
WTA Staff

TOKYO, Japan - Yanina Wickmayer battled back from a set and a break down to beat WTA Rising Star Magda Linette and win her first WTA title since 2010 at the Japan Women's Open Tennis.

After sending the last two seeds remaining packing in the semifinals, Wickmayer beating No.7 seed Ajla Tomljanovic and Linette outdoing No.6 seed Christina McHale, an all-unseeded final was set - and it was Linette who came out stronger, building a 6-4, 2-0 lead, seemingly headed for a straight set win.

"The first set wasn't great for me," Wickmayer said. "I was making too many unforced errors and going for too much. I think I was trying to play too nicely, too pretty. Winning doesn't always have to be pretty. And I also really wanted to win today, so maybe I was a little bit nervous there in the beginning."

Wickmayer steadied herself in a big way from there, though, winning 12 of the next 16 games to prevail over Linette, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, breaking one last time at love to wrap it up in just over two hours.

"From the second set I was trying to rally and make her play, make her win the points," the Belgian said. "It wasn't my best match of the tournament, but it was efficient, and that's what matters.

"It feels great. It's amazing to win my fourth WTA title. It's been a while since my third one, so it feels very good to lift a trophy up again after a few years. I'm very happy and very excited about it."

Wickmayer's first three WTA titles came at Oeiras and Linz in 2009 and Auckland in 2010. She actually went as high as No.12 in the world in 2010 - she's now No.86, but that's sure to go up after this.

"A lot has happened - it's been five years," Wickmayer commented. "There have been some injuries, but those are just a part of the job, and part of the career. And the level of the tour has been growing as well - there's a lot of tough players out there. It's much tougher to win a tournament these days.

"But going through all of the hard work and tough moments makes winning a lot more special."

Linette, who had also taken out No.2 seed Zarina Diyas this week, was playing her first WTA final.

The doubles final took place on Saturday and saw No.1 seeds Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan crush Japanese wildcards Misaki Doi and Kurumi Nara in straight sets in just 62 minutes, 6-1, 6-2.

The Chan sisters now have five WTA doubles titles together, the second-most WTA doubles titles all-time for a pair of sisters after Serena Williams and Venus Williams - the Williamses have 21 of them.