Andrea Petkovic, who is coming back from a string of injuries in recent years, earned her first title in nearly three years on Sunday with a straight-sets win at the Family Circle Cup.
Germany’s Petkovic posted a 7-5, 6-2 win in Charleston, South Carolina, over rising star Jana Cepelova for her third WTA Tour crown and first since winning in Strasbourg, France, in 2011. Her first title came five years ago in Bad Gastein, Austria.
Petkovic clinched the win in the eighth game of the second set when Cepelova’s forehand return sailed past the baseline.
Petkovic celebrated the victory on the green clay surface by doing a shuffle dance on the court.
“I am excited and emotional,” the German said.
She won 32 of 49 first-serve points in the 79-minute contest, which lasted almost as long as her post-match speech in which she thanked numerous people for helping her overcome some troubling injuries.
“I am almost like a politician, talking more than everyone else,” said Petkovic, who improved to 3-5 all-time in WTA Tour finals.
No. 14 seed Petkovic was down 4-5 in the first set and fought off a set point. She then reeled off eight straight games to seize control of the match.
The German has battled a myriad of injuries.
“I was just so relieved and proud that I’ve come back from all these injuries, and I never thought I would play in the finals of the big tournaments again, and so I was just proud and happy, and everything just sort of came together,” said Petkovic, who was ranked as high as world No. 9 in 2011.
Petkovic said she did not expect to play in a final against the 20-year-old Cepelova, who easily knocked off world No. 1 Serena Williams in the second round.
Cepelova, who appears to be headed for a breakout season on the WTA Tour, achieved something very few 20-year-olds have been able to do. She came to Charleston alone — without any entourage of any sort, including a coach.
“I want to congratulate Jana,” Petkovic said. “I am amazed you did this all by yourself. No coach, nobody with you. If you had said something I would have coached you, but obviously you don’t need it.”
Cepelova was seeking to become the first player since Sabine Lisicki in 2009 to claim her maiden WTA Tour title in Charleston.
AP, Monterrey, Mexico
Ana Ivanovic won an all-Serbian final at the Monterrey Open on Sunday, beating Jovana Jaksic 6-2, 6-1 for her second title of the year.
Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, also won the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, to start the year. It is the first time since 2010 she has captured multiple titles in a season.
Jaksic, playing in her first WTA Tour final, started off strongly against second seed Ivanovic, breaking her at love and winning the first six points of the match, but Ivanovic reeled off 16 of the next 17 points to take control of the match and finish it off in an hour.
It was the 13th title of Ivanovic’s career.