Czech teen Linda Fruhvirtova claims first WTA title in Chennai

Czech teen Linda Fruhvirtova claims first WTA title in Chennai

Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova completed her breakthrough week by capturing her first Hologic WTA Tour singles title at the Chennai Open in comeback fashion.

The 17-year-old Fruhvirtova defeated No.3 seed Magda Linette of Poland 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Sunday’s final to hoist her first championship trophy on the tour. Fruhvirtova was down 4-1 in the third set before collecting the last five games of the match.

Read more: Linda Fruhvirtova in no rush to become tennis’ next teenage star

Fruhvirtova took two-and-a-half hours to claim the come-from-behind win over Linette, a two-time singles titlist on tour. The teen avenged a loss to Linette in their only prior meeting, at Cleveland last year.

At 17 years and 141 days old, Fruhvirtova is the youngest titlist of the season so far. She is the youngest singles champion on tour since Coco Gauff won Parma last year at 17 years, 70 days old.

After her exploits in Chennai, Fruhvirtova is projected to make her Top 100 debut in Monday’s updated singles rankings.

Meanwhile, despite the loss, a trip to her fifth career final means 67th-ranked Linette is projected to return to the Top 50. Linette’s career-high ranking is World No.33, achieved in 2020.

Sunday’s Chennai final was a bold victory for Fruhvirtova, who converted half of her six break points while fending off seven of the nine she faced in the final.

Linette was the early leader as she broke for 5-4 in the first set with a forehand winner off of a dropshot. Ahead for the first time all day, Linette ran with that opportunity, holding serve at love to wrap up the one-set lead.

But Fruhvirtova eventually sunk her teeth into the match, earning her first break of the day for a 5-3 lead in the second set. Fruhvirtova leveled the match by consolidating in the next game, closing out a set where she never faced a break point.

A forehand winner gave Linette the first break of the decider for a 3-1 lead, and after holding for 4-1 the Pole appeared to be in charge. But Fruhvirtova used powerful hitting to pull back on serve at 4-3, and the Czech teen moved ahead by a break at 5-4 with a sterling return.

Fruhvirtova never relinquished that advantage, converting her first championship point in the following game to seal her first title.

Sunday proved to be a huge day for the Fruhvirtova family as Linda’s younger sister Brenda racked up her fifth straight ITF Challenger title, this time in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy. Brenda, 15, is on a 25-match winning streak in ITF Challenger events.

In Sunday’s Chennai doubles final, No.1 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani rolled past Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze 6-1, 6-2 in just 58 minutes to clinch the title.

The win caps Stefani’s return to tour in her first event in almost exactly one year. Dabrowski and Stefani were one of last summer’s winningest teams before Stefani suffered a knee injury during their 2021 US Open semifinal match.

Back on court after 12 months away, Stefani’s return could not have been more successful results-wise, as she and Dabrowski earned their second title as a duo. Dabrowski is now up to 12 career WTA double titles, while Stefani’s total rises to four career WTA double titles.

More to come…

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