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By Erik Gudris | Sunday, April 24, 2016

Istanbul Cup Trophy 2016

Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay capped off a breakthrough week by winning her maiden WTA title in Istanbul.

Photo Credit: Istanbul Cup Facebook

There’s no place like home to win your first ever WTA title while creating some history along the way.

That’s what Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay did in the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup final on Sunday as she won her first ever WTA title.

In a week that saw top seeds Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Yanina Wickmayer lose early, that opened the door for Buyukakcay to complete her fairytale run to the final.

Waiting for her there was No. 5 seed Danka Kovinic.

Could Buyukakcay deal with the pressure of playing in her first ever WTA final? Especially since it was in front of a loud, supportive home crowd that made the match feel more like a Fed Cup tie.

Early on, it was Kovinic who looked more settled in the match. Kovinic took hold of an early break lead and didn’t let go. She soon closed out the first set 6-3.

Buyukakcay started hitting better in the second set much to the delight of the home crowd. Buyukakcay broke her opponent for 3-1 and then broke serve to send the match into a deciding set.

With Buyukakcay hitting cleaner now and with more authority, she soon took control of the final set. Buyukakcay broke for 3-1 after Kovinic sent a backhand wide.

Buyukakcay endured a tough service game that saw her fight off several break points during multple deuces before edging ahead 4-1.

The ulitmate moment came several games later when Buyukakcay served for the title at 5-3. Buyukakcay jumped out to a 40-0 lead and held three match points. But some understandable nerves from her dissolved her lead to deuce. Kovinic fought off another match point against her with a deep return.

Buyukakcay held a fifth match point and won an extended rally to finally seal the victory 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Istanbul is the first ever title for Buyukakcay who also became the first Turkish woman ever to win a WTA title. Buyukakcay is expected to make her top 100 debut next week.

“It was very important for me to break the Top 100 this match; that's why I was very emotional at the end. I've been working for it for the first time, and I'll be the first woman in Turkish tennis to be Top 100. It's a huge thing for me,” Buyukakcay said to “I saw the Turkish flags around me, and I'm reminding myself all the time that it's perfect to be here, and it's working.”


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