HOBART, Australia (AP)American Lauren Davis has claimed a second WTA title six years after her first, beating Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6 (0), 6-2 on Saturday in the Hobart International final.
The 29-year-old Davis upset fourth-seeded and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round and didn’t drop a set all week. It was Davis’ first WTA title since winning the Auckland event in 2017.
”We put in a lot of hard work over the off season, and . . . over the past several years. To see the fruition of our hard work paying off is a really good feeling,” Davis said.
Both players were unable to convert several break-point chances in a tense first set before the 84th-ranked Davis ran through the tiebreaker to love. She kept the momentum going in the second set, breaking in the second game.
Cocciaretto, ranked 67th, was playing her first WTA final after a strong run featuring wins over third-seeded Alize Cornet in the first round and former Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in the semifinals.
The 21-year-old Italian, who played the match with strapping on her left thigh but didn’t appear hampered, faces Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the first round of the Australian Open which begins Monday.
Davis becomes the fourth qualifier in the past 11 years to win the trophy in Hobart, following Mona Barthel (2012), Garbine Muguruza (2014) and Elise Mertens (2017).
Davis will play 54th-ranked Danka Kovinic in the first round of the Australian Open.
”(The win) gives me a ton of confidence,” Davis said. ”I did a really good job of staying disciplined throughout the tournament. Going into next week I honestly feel pretty fresh, I don’t feel too tired at all.”
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