Valencia | Zheng Qinwen captures first WTA 125 title at Valencia Open

19-year old Zheng Qinwen from China captured her first WTA 125 title at the BBVA Open Internacional de Valencia in Spain on Sunday, holding off 21-year-old compatriot Wang Xiyu, 6-4 4-6 6-3.

Zheng maintained her breakthrough form at Roland Garros to reach her current career-high ranking of World No 54.

At Roland Garros, in only her second Grand Slam main-draw appearance, the Hubei native upset 2018 champion and former World No 1 Simona Halep in the second round and then gave current World No 1 Iga Swiatek a scare in the Round of 16, becoming the only player to take a set off of the eventual champion.

The 21-year-old left-hander Wang, a former junior No 1 and 2018 Junior US Open champion, was also seeking her first WTA 125 title, but Zheng converted 6 of her 8 break points in the final, and has now cracked the Top 50 of the WTA Tour singles rankings for the first time with a ranking of 46 this week.

The tussle between two of China’s up-and-coming players was an enthralling 2-hour and 34-minute clay-court clash in which the No 3 seed Zheng prevailed over the unseeded Wang.

This week in Valencia, Zheng proved her Paris exploits were not a one-off, beating No 1 seed Nuria Parrizas Diaz from Spain, 6-3 4-6 7-5, in the semi-finals to reach her first WTA 125 final.

Another close match followed in the final, where left-hander Wang matched Zheng in a showdown of powerful winners.

Zheng battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the first set, winning 5 of the last 6 games in the opener, and also fought back from 0-3 to 3-3 in the second set, but Wang’s deep returns steered the set in her direction, and Wang levelled the match at one set apiece.

In the decider, it was Zheng who took command, breaking for 2-1 with a brilliant backhand passing winner down the line and using her fiery forehands to eke out a 3-deuce hold to consolidate for 3-1, then moving to victory from there.

The doubles title was also awarded on Sunday, with the all-Spanish pairing of Aliona Bolsova & Rebeka Masarova sweeping past No 2 seeds Alexandra Panova & Arantxa Rus, 6-0 6-3.

Bolsova & Masarova did not drop a set all week on home soil.

The victory marks Masarova’s first WTA 125 doubles title, while Bolsova has her second WTA 125 doubles title, to go with her trophy from Bol last year.



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