Udvardy claims first WTA 125 title in Buenos Aires

Udvardy claims first WTA 125 title in Buenos Aires

No.3 seed Panna Udvardy of Hungary captured the first WTA 125 title of her career with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of No.2 seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in the Argentina Open final on Sunday.

After 1 hour and 25 minutes of play, the World No.83 Udvardy won the singles clay-court championship in Buenos Aires. The title comes after two previous losses in WTA 125 finals, also on clay, at Montevideo last year and Iasi earlier this season.

The straightforward final was atypical for Udvardy this week. The Hungarian had to survive three consecutive three-setters just to make it into the singles championship match, including a third-set tiebreak against former Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani in the quarterfinals.

“I think every match was different, completely different game styles,” Udvardy said after the final. “The match that made me the proudest was today. I played my best tennis, didn’t feel the pressure at all. I felt the crowd behind me, so I just really enjoyed being out there.”

After an early exchange of breaks on Sunday, Udvardy turned the final in her favor for good with another break for 4-3. Udvardy converted that break point by chasing down a Kovinic drop shot, returning it with a drop volley of his own, then slamming a putaway off of the reply.

Udvardy picked up most of her winners with the forehand, and she used strong shots from that side to earn her two set points at 5-4. The Hungarian converted her second chance after a Kovinic backhand found the net, wrapping up the one-set lead after 54 minutes.

The first three games of the second set went against serve, but Udvardy dominated from there as she reeled off the final five games of the match. Udvardy won 72 percent of points returning second serves, leading to a 6-for-9 break point conversion rate.

The doubles final followed, where Irina Bara and Sara Errani beat Jang Su Jeong and You Xiaodi 6-1, 7-5 for the title in 1 hour and 21 minutes. A lob by Bara fell just inside the baseline on their first championship point, breaking to win the last game of the clash.

Bara defended her crown to win her fifth career WTA 125 doubles title and remain undefeated in WTA 125 finals. Bara won last year’s Buenos Aires title alongside Ekaterine Gorgodze, which was one of four WTA 125 titles the Bara/Gorgodze pairing won over the last two seasons.

It is Errani’s first doubles title in the WTA 125 tier. Errani is a former World No.1 in doubles, having won titles at all four of the Grand Slam events between 2012 and 2014 during her legendary partnership with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci.

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