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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, October 2, 2022

 
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Barbora Krejcikova broke serve five times topping top-seeded Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3, in the Tallinn Open final to collect her fourth career title.

Photo credit: Tallinn Open Facebook

It was Anett Kontaveit's home court, but Barbora Krejcikova was calling the shots today.

Playing her most dynamic tennis of the tournament, Krejcikova broke serve five times topping home hero Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3 in today's Tallinn Open final.

Watch: Moutet and Andreev Nearly Come to Blows

Krejcikova captured her first title of the season and fourth championship overall, while denying Kontaveit's bid for her seventh tournament title an apologizing afterward.

"It was a very, very speical week for me," Krejcikova said. "I would like to congratulate Anett. Thank you so much for this week.

"I'm really sorry for beating you today, but I really wanted to get the title. Just thank you because everytime we play against each other it's a huge match, it's always very difficult for me and thank you for bringing the best out of me."




The seventh-seeded Krejcikova was slowed by an elbow injury earlier this year, but has still shined in doubles sweeping the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open with long-time partner Katerina Siniakova. Krejcikova found singles success at the inaugural Tallinn Open defeating four Top 40-ranked players—No. 34 Ajla Tomljanovic, 15th-ranked Beatriz Haddas Maia, 14th-ranked Belinda Bencic in a three hour, 22-minute semifinal epic and the fourth-ranked Kontaveit—to lift the title trophy.

Deploying her variety at critical stages, Krejcikova won 20 of 28 points played on Kontaveit's second serve and broke in five of the Estonian's final six service games.

It is Krejcikova's sixth Top 10 victory and first since she beat Kontaveit in Sydney in January.

"Congratulations Barbora, you played fantastic today," Kontaveit said during the trophy presentation. "What a week. Congratulations, that was just too good today."

Tallinn native Konaveit won the toss and elected to receive.




The Krejcikova serve was a key stroke in the first set. The 2021 Roland Garros singles and doubles champion slid her first ace down the middle, capping a love hold for 3-2.

Trying to change direction, Kontaveit committed a forehand error to face break point in the sixth game. A deep backhand return helped Krejcikova break for 4-2. Krejcikova spun a serve down the middle to back up the break at love—winning her 12th consecutive service point.

When the Estonian scattered a forehand down the line wide, Krejcikova had set point 28 minutes into the match.

The ensuing 14-shot rally climaxed with Krejcikova pulling the string on an exquisite drop shot to end the first set with her second break and hush the pro-Kontaveit home crowd. Krejcikova committed just five unforced errors in a near flawless set—eight fewer than her opponent.

  The 27th-ranked Czech was in control, but sputtered to start the second set, committing a double fault and a forehand error to face double break point. After all that good work in the opening set, Krejcikova committed her second double fault of the game to gift-wrap the break to Kontaveit.




Approaching behind a backhand into the corner, Krejcikova came right back to earn a second break point. Kontaveit clubbed a forehand winner down the line to erase it. On her third break point, Krejcikova pounced on a second serve, sent her return right back through the middle of the court, rattling out the netted error to break back.

The Krejcikova return right down the middle proved damaging on this day. She repeatedly denied Kontaveit angles driving returns back through the middle. When Kontaveit tried deploying the drop shot, Krejcikova read it and flicked a clever reply scoring her fourth straight break for 3-1.

Three games from the finish, Krejcikova ran into stiff resistance. Kontaveit caught fire blazing through seven straight points as she broke back then banged a backhand pass down the line to level 3-3.

The forehand down the line let Kontaveit down at times in this final. The top seed scattered a forehand down the line wide to face double break point in the eighth game. On the next point, Krejcikova stepped in and scalded a clean forehand strike down the line scoring her fifth break for a 5-3 lead.

Serving for her first WTA title since she won the 2021 Prague title, Krejcikova went up 30-15. Kontaveit missed a backhand down the line as Krejcikova earned two championship points.

Kontaveit missed a diagonal forehand as Krejcikova closed in 80 minutes.

 

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