WTA Jurmala: Anastasija Sevastova lifts title in front of home fans

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WTA Jurmala: Anastasija Sevastova lifts title in front of home fans

Competing in her eighth WTA final, world no. 11 Anastasija Sevastova won the fourth WTA crown and the first in front of the home fans at the inaugural Baltic Open in Jurmala, beating the Pole Katarzyna Kawa 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes.

Jurmala was the first WTA main draw tournament for the 26-year-old Kawa, currently ranked 194th, passing the qualifying round and securing four victories on the main level to enter the final where she was three points away from the finish line twice.

Still, it wasn't to be for her, leading 6-3, 5-4 before Anastasija closed the second set and held the advantage in the third to move over the top and claim the title. In the end, Sevastova won one point more than her rival, suffering six breaks from ten chances offered to the Pole and delivering six breaks from eight chances to stay in contention and cross the finish line first.

Kawa drew first blood with a lucky return net cord in game five, breaking at 15 and losing the advantage in the very next game before taking 12 of the last 14 points for a 6-3 after a forehand error from Sevastova. The Pole delivered the fourth straight break at the beginning of the second set, marching towards the finish line and forcing Anastasija to raise her level immediately.

The Latvian did that in style, pulling the break back in game three and earning another one at 2-2 to move in front, staying there only for a couple of minutes as Katarzyna broke back to level the score at 3-3. Facing a break point at 3-4, Sevastova survived thanks to a loose forehand from the Pole, notching a break in game 11 after an amazing defense and holding at 15 with a service winner for a 7-5 and the deciding set.

There, Kawa stayed in touch until 2-2, suffering a break in the fifth game when Sevastova placed a volley winner, gaining the crucial lead and moving over the top with a hold at 5-4 to celebrate the title in front of the home fans.