The women's tennis tour has had its first champion of the new decade. Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova defeated Kazakh Elena Rybakina 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the Shenzhen International on Saturday. This was the first WTA singles title for the world no.
34, who was seeded fifth in the event. Alexandrova claimed the first set in just 30 minutes, against the opponent whom she was facing for the first time in her career. She broke her seventh-seeded opponent thrice in the set but was also lost the sole break point she faced on her serve.
The second set lasted 43 minutes and required Alexandrova to come from a break down to defeat the world no. 36. Alexandrova won around 67% of her first service points as compared to Rybakina, who could only win about 49% points off her first serve.
Alexandrova won 50% of her second service points while Rybakina managed to win around 38% of her second service points. The 25-year-old won the WTA 125K in Limoges in December 2019. But on the WTA main tour, this is Alexandrova's first singles title in two finals.
She last reached a WTA singles final in Linz in 2018 losing the title to Italian Camila Giorgi. After her win in Shenzhen, Alexandrova will gain a new career-high of no. 26 in the WTA rankings, when it is updated on Monday, 13th January.
Her rankings boost also means she could be seeded for the Australian Open that is scheduled to start from 20th January at Melbourne Park.