Liudmila Samsonova won the Citi Open title on Sunday after beating Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 46 minutes. Samsonova’s now won both finals she’s contested in her career so far, with her maiden trophy coming about in 2021.
While Kanepi made an impactful start and went on to win the opening set, Samsonova dictated the latter two sets. A saving of a break point in the second set that would have given the Estonian sixth seed a set and a break lead proved crucial for Samsonova who didn’t look back in the match after that.
In fact, it was after that game (the sixth game of the second set) that Kanepi faced a break point for the first time in the match. Samsonova made good use of it and then went on to secure the set. In the deciding set, Samsonova faced no break point and went on to convert the only break point she had on Kanepi’s serve.
Citi Open: Liudmila Samsonova emerges on top
Samsonova finished the match winning 81% of her first-serve points to Kanepi’s 77% and 68% of her second-serve points to the latter’s 54%. In terms of winners and unforced errors, Samsonova had 27 winners, 11 more than her opponent’s 16 and 18 unforced errors, one fewer than the 37-year-old’s 19.
The 23-year-old won 78 points for the match, 13 more than Kanepi’s 65. After the match, the victor said, “I think it was the hardest match of the week because Kaia was playing amazing. She was serving so well. I had some troubles to find the solution on the return.
It was a tough mental game today, and I'm so happy that I found the solutions”. Winning the Citi Open final also means that Liudmila Samsonova’s now won both of her matches against Kaia Kanepi. The latter though remains on the lookout to end a near-10-year long drought of titles, with her last title coming in 2013. Photo Credit: Citi Open Twitter