Libema Open: Aleksandra Krunic fights back from the brink against Kirsten Flipkens to lift her maiden WTA title
Aleksandra Krunic fought back from the brink for a second day running before lifting her maiden tour-level title with a battling 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-1 win over Kirsten Flipkens.
Rosmalen: Aleksandra Krunic fought back from the brink for a second day running before lifting her maiden tour-level title with a battling 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-1 win over Kirsten Flipkens in the final of the Libema Open in Rosmalen, s’Hertogenbosch on Sunday.
Serbian Krunic, who had to survive a match point against two-time champion and top seed CoCo Vandeweghe in Saturday’s semi-final, again stared at defeat as the Belgian Flipkens served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
Yet the 32-year-old Flipkens, a finalist in this Dutch grass court tournament — a traditional warm-up event for Wimbledon — back in 2013, again missed out, playing a nervy game before really struggling physically.
Flipkens, who had battled through a marathon semi-final and had also been forced to retire from the doubles final on Saturday after just six games with muscle cramping in her leg, faded badly in the two hour, nine minute singles showdown.
“I don’t know how you pulled this off, mate, but the fact that you didn’t show how much pain you were in today, makes me respect you more,” the 25-year-old Krunic told Flipkens on court after winning nine of the last 10 games.
Krunic, the World No 55, became the first Serbian winner on the WTA tour since Jelena Jankovic in 2015.
The 19-year-old, who will head to Roland Garros in a fortnight as defending French Open champion, beat Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the final in Rome at the weekend to climb six places to ninth, leapfrogging her Czech opponent who slips to tenth.
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