WTA Lugano: Polona Hercog ousts Iga Swiatek to claim third WTA crown


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WTA Lugano: Polona Hercog ousts Iga Swiatek to claim third WTA crown

For the first time in seven years, the Slovenian Polona Hercog leaves the tournament with the WTA title, defeating the 17-year-old Iga Swiatek 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes for the third WTA crown. Bastad champion from 2011 and 2012 kicked off Lugano action with a win over the 2nd seed Carla Suarez Navarro, delivering some impressive tennis in the remaining four matches to go all the way and celebrate the crown.

Playing in the first WTA title after a dominant victory over Kristyna Pliskova on Saturday, the Polish teenager gave her best to overpower the more experienced rival but it wasn't to be for her today, creating 16 break chances and converting six which proved not to be enough.

Hercog stole more than half of the return points, breaking rival's serve eight times from 12 opportunities to cross the finish line first and start a huge celebration of the much-needed title and become the 17th different champion on the WTA Tour in 2019!

Iga needed some time to settle into the right rhythm, losing serve four times in a row in the opener to hand it to Hercog 6-3 despite saving three set points in the eighth game. They traded breaks in the third and fourth games of the second set before Swiatek took four straight games at 2-3, securing breaks in games seven and nine to clinch the set 6-3 and set a decider, moving closer to the maiden WTA crown at such a young age.

Things looked even better for the youngster when she broke in the second game of the final set, only to get broken in the next game and again at 2-2 when her forehand down the line landed long. Polona was the better player on the court after that break she suffered and marched towards the finish line with rock-solid holds in games six and eight, forcing Iga to serve for staying in the match at 3-5.

The youngster sprayed another forehand error to lose serve once again and push Polona over the finish line, losing the first pro final after seven successful ones on the ITF Tour.