Monica Puig became the first Puerto Rican player to win a WTA title by beating Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain, 6-4, 6-3, on Saturday in the Strasbourg International final in France.
“It's amazing to do this coming from such a small island, where tennis isn't necessarily recognized as one of the main sports,” Puig said. “I'm just happy I'm able to be here playing tennis not only for myself, but for my country too.”
In a match between two players appearing in their first final, the 20-year-old Puig was on top from the start as she broke the Spaniard in her first service game. She also broke twice in the second set, including in the final game.
Puig dropped just nine points on serve all match, two of which were double-faults.
“I woke up this morning and I felt it. I felt I was going to do something amazing,” Puig said. “It was one of those feelings where you just know it's going to happen, and I played some of the greatest tennis I've ever played.”
Puig next heads to the French Open where she has been drawn against 2010 finalist Sam Stosur.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada defeated Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, to win the Nuremberg Cup in Germany for her first WTA title.
The second-seeded Bouchard, who had not lost a set on the way to her second career final, held her nerve in the third set after five breaks of serve in a row to win in 1 hour 53 minutes.
Pliskova beat top-seeded Angelique Kerber and No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina to reach the final and the Czech showed her fighting qualities after losing the opening set. But she was unable to claim her second career title after Kuala Lumpur in 2013.
The 20-year-old Bouchard had won the only previous matchup between the pair in the first round of the U.S. Open last year.
Second-seeded Ernests Gulbis maintained his perfect record in finals as he swept aside Federico Delbonis to win the Open de Nice in France. The Latvian triumphed 6-1, 7-6 (5) for his sixth tournament victory on the ATP Tour.
Once again Gulbis' first serve proved too strong as he dropped only three points on it, and none in the first set. Gulbis also served up nine aces.
The seventh-seeded Delbonis, who beat top-seeded John Isner in the quarterfinals, fought back in the second set and saved three break points. However, the Argentine also wasted two break points of his own.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times