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Thursday October 06, 2022

Samsonova wins Washington WTA title

By AFP
August 09, 2022

WASHINGTON: Liudmila Samsonova won her second career WTA title on Sunday, beating Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Sunday’s women’s final at the ATP and WTA Washington Open.

World number 60 Samsonova fired 10 aces and connected on 81.4% of her first-serve points to capture the crown after taking her only prior tour trophy at last year’s German Open on Berlin grass.

The 23-year-old Russian had a six-week layoff before Washington after being among Russian and Belarus players not allowed to play at Wimbledon due to the invasion of Ukraine. Kanepi, 37, was foiled in her bid to end a nine-year WTA title drought. She had not won a tour crown since the 2013 Brussels Open.

Samsonova dispatched three of the top six seeds, ousting reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu and fifth seed Elise Mertens before eliminating sixth seed Kanepi. Kanepi took the only break point of the opening set when Samsonova sent a forehand wide in the 10th game.

In the second set, Samsonova broke for a 4-3 lead when Kanepi hit a backhand long and broke again in the ninth game to force a third set. Kanepi netted a forehand to surrender a final break in the penultimate game and Samsonova held to seize the trophy, ending matters on a service winner after one hour and 46 minutes.

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