Tallinn (Estonia), Oct 2 (IANS): After a singles title drought of over a year, Barbora Krejcikova from Czech Republic on Sunday dispatched No 1 seed and homeland hope Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3 at the inaugural Tallinn Open to win her fourth career singles title and her first of the season.
Krejcikova claimed her first three singles titles during a three-month span last year, including a maiden Grand Slam singles title at 2021 Roland Garros. But after triumphing on home soil in Prague last July, she had only made one singles final since, which she lost to Paula Badosa at Sydney in January.
The Czech at last booked a spot in another singles final this week in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, where she faced down crowd favorite Kontaveit, the best-ranked player in Estonia's history.
In the championship match, featuring two players who had both peaked at World No.2 earlier this year, Krejcikova prevailed in 1 hour and 21 minutes to dash the crowd's hopes of a home-soil title for Kontaveit.
The 26-year old Krejcikova won 71 percent of points returning the Kontaveit second serve while also winning 68 percent of her own second-service points, collecting her sixth career win over a Top 10 player in the process. The result also snapped Kontaveit's 24-match winning streak on indoor hard court.
Krejcikova blasted her way to a break for 4-2 behind pinpoint groundstrokes from both wings. The Czech broke Kontaveit again two games later, wrapping up the set with a drop shot winner. She had six winners to five unforced errors in the opener, while Kontaveit fired 13 unforced errors to just three winners.
In a back-and-forth second set, each player was up by a break before even reaching 3-3. But Krejcikova took charge again, slamming a forehand winner down the line to break for 5-3. Krejcikova grabbed the title after a wide Kontaveit forehand on the Czech's first championship point.
Krejcikova's singles rebound is bolstered by another incredible year for her in doubles. She and Katerina Siniakova won three of this year's Grand Slam events in women's doubles, at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.