Another one! Bernarda Pera wins second straight WTA singles title in Hamburg
It's the summer of Bernarda Pera. The 27-year-old American captured her second WTA singles title in as many weeks by winning the Hamburg European Open on Saturday with a straight-sets win over world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the final.
After sprinting through seven matches, starting in qualifying, last week in Budapest to win her first-ever WTA singles title without losing a set, Pera stretched her unbeaten run to 12 matches and 24 sets with her victory in Hamburg.
Read more at usta.com: Pera wins first singles title in Budapest
Her week started with an emphatic win over No. 9 seed and defending champion Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania, and ended with her best-ever win by ranking over No. 1 seed Kontaveit by a 6-2, 6-4 final score. Pera also exacted a measure of revenge on Kontaveit with the straight-sets win; last month at Wimbledon, Kontaveit beat her in the first round.
ROAD TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP - BERNARDA PERA
R1: def. (9) Elena-Gabriela Ruse (ROU) - 6-0, 6-4
R2: def. (Q) Joanne Zuger (SUI) - 6-1, 6-1
QF: def. Katerina Siniakova (CZE) - 6-3, 6-1
SF: def. (7) Maryna Zanevska (BEL) - 6-2, 6-4
F: def. (1) Anett Kontaveit (EST) - 6-2, 6-4
Sidelined with injury for nearly two months from mid-February to early May, Pera's bottled the best tennis of her career during the WTA's brief post-Wimbledon clay-court swing. Ranked No. 130 when she arrived in Hungary last week, Pera's cut her ranking by more than half and will be at a new career-high on Monday. She's projected to rise to No. 54 in the world, bettering her previous career-best of No. 59.
Pera's win closed out a championship Saturday in Hamburg that saw Americans sweep titles. In the doubles final, Sophie Chang and Angela Kulikov won their first-ever WTA doubles title in their first appearance in a final by beating No. 3 seeds Aldila Sutjiadi and Miyo Kato, 6-3, 4-6, [10-6].
Unseeded at the WTA 250 event, Chang, 25, and Kulikov, 24, posted three three-set victories among their four wins on the week. In the semifinals, they bounced back from being bageled in the opening set by Anastasia Potapova and Yana Sizikova to triumph in a match tiebreak, and also edged the British pair of Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls in a decider in Round 1.
Chang and Kulikov's victory in Hamburg came on the strength of a winning run on the USTA Pro Circuit: The all-American pair reached five previous finals this year, winning four of them. Their biggest previous title came in April at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Palm Harbor Beach, Fla., also on clay. They also won events in Rome, Ga. in February; Chalottesville, Va. in April; and Orlando, Fla. in May.
Both Americans will crack the Top 100 in the WTA doubles rankings next week as a result of the win; Chang will rise to a new best of No. 80 with Kulikov right behind her at No. 83.
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