Hamburg (Germany), July 23 (IANS) American Bernarda Pera clinched the European Open and her second career title after beating top seed Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-4 in the final, here on Saturday.
After sprinting through qualifying all the way to her first title last week in Budapest without the loss of a set, Pera’s white-hot form continued in Hamburg as she stretched her winning streak to 12 matches, and 24 sets, to take the title.
Her week began with a 6-0, 6-4 win over No. 9 seed and defending champion Elena-Gabriela Ruse and ended with a 74-minute win over World No. 2 Kontaveit, her best-ever victory by ranking. The win against No. 2 Kontaveit is Pera’s second career Top-10 win; her first came over then-No 10 Johanna Konta in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open when she reached the third round as a lucky loser.
The result flipped the script of the pair’s first-ever meeting, which came just last month at Wimbledon. In Round 1 there, Pera served for the first set before falling 7-5, 6-1.
On Saturday, the American left-hander was in command throughout. She broke Kontaveit’s serve four times in the first eight service games to open up a lead of 6-2, 5-2, and only faced (and saved) one breakpoint herself over that time.
Though she failed in serving out the match on her first attempt, she made no mistake on the second. After losing the first point of the 10th game, she won the next four to seal the title.
Notably, Pera is the fifth player to win multiple WTA Tour singles titles this year, joining Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Beatriz Haddad Maia, and the now-retired Ashleigh Barty.
Ranked No. 130 when she came to Budapest last week, Pera will be at a new career-high on Monday as she’s projected to rise into the Top 60.