22-year-old Belgian Elise Mertens has been in a great form in 2018, winning already her third WTA title of the season in Rabat and the fourth overall following a 6-2 7-6 win over Ajla Tomljanovic in an hour and 44 minutes. This was the best result for Tomljanovic in the last couple of years but it wasn't enough to bring her the title, struggling on her second serve and facing too many break points.
Mertens scored four breaks of serve to open up a 6-2 5-3 lead before Ajla pulled the break back in game 10 after saving a match point to level the score at 5-5 and set the tie break which Martens won 7-4 to seal the deal in straight sets and clinch her 12th win in a row on clay.
Elise lost 19 points on serve and she had to play against two break points, allowing Ajla to convert both but compensating that with a solid display on the return that earned the title for her. Tomljanovic managed to stay in touch in the opening four games after she saved a break point in game three but that was all we saw from her in the first set.
Mertens broke at love in game five and she cemented her lead with another break of serve in game seven, finishing the job with a hold at love in game eight for 6-2 after claiming 20 of the last 24 points. Tomljanovic couldn't find her range from the baseline and she suffered another setback at the start of set number two, dropping serve in games one and three after facing seven break points in total.
She pulled one break back in game four and that helped her to gain the momentum and stay on the level terms win Mertens until game 10 when the Belgian served for the title. She squandered a match point and Ajla was suddenly back in contention after scoring a precious break, saving a break point in the following game to set up the tie break.
Elise kept her composure and she clinched the breaker 7-4 with three mini-breaks on her tally, heading to Madrid now where she would face the compatriot Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round. Final result: