Dominika Cibulkova avenged an embarrassing defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska by overhauling the top-seeded Pole 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Bank of the West Classic on Sunday.
Earlier this year in the Sydney final, Radwanska handed the Slovakian a humiliating 6-0, 6-0 loss that Cibulkova said affected her for weeks. However, in Sunday’s final, the 24-year-old Cibulkova immediately shook off her nerves by winning the first game, and fought tooth and nail to seal the win in two-and-a-half hours.
World No. 4 Radwanska entered the final with a 4-0 record against Cibulkova, and appeared to be in control after winning the first set with creative and steady play.
Cibulkova then settled down, breaking Radwanska to lead 4-3 and holding on to win the second set when her opponent missed a return.
The Slovakian wobbled in the decider, with a double-fault conceding a break and allowing Radwanska to take a 4-2 lead, but she broke back immediately and closed out the contest with a searing backhand crosscourt winner.
She fell to her back in joy and her father Milan jumped on to the court to embrace her.
Cibulkova has flirted with the top 10, reaching a career-high No. 12 back in 2009, but has struggled to break through to the next level.
She has failed to make an impression at the Grand Slams this year, but will head into the fourth and final Grand Slam, the US Open, with renewed belief.
Elina Svitolina won the Baku Cup title by beating Shahar Peer of Israel 6-4, 6-4 in the final on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Ukrainian, the 2010 French Open junior champion, landed four aces and broke Peer decisively in each set to claim her second career title. She won her first in November last year in Pune, India.
The 149-ranked Peer, whose ranking has fallen from a career-best No. 11, was bidding for a sixth career title in her first final appearance since losing in Washington in July 2011.