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By Richard Pagliaro | @TennisNow | Sunday, June 23, 2024

 
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Yulia Putintseva broke five times in a 6-1, 7-6(8) victory over Ajla Tomljanovic to capture her first career grass-court title in Birmingham.

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty

The Birmingham lawn looked like a bounce house.

Yulia Putintseva made a major grass leap.

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A pumped-up Putintseva stopped Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 7-6(8) to capture her first career grass-court crown at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.




It is the third career title for Putintseva, including her first championship since the 2021 Budapest.

Sliding low slice and off-pace bunts with heavy drives, the 5'4" Kazakh kept the heavier-hitting Tomljanovic off balance. Putintseva broke serve five times and won 17 of 23 points played on Tomljanovic's second serve.

Breaking to open today's final, Putintseva played cleaner combinations from the baseline reeling off four games in a row to build a one-set lead.




Playing her fifth career final, Tomljanovic was targeting her maiden WTA title.

The woman who beat Serena Williams in her final US Open match, surged ahead 5-3 in the second set. Tomljanovic served for the set at 5-4 and held set point, but the stubborn Putintseva saved a set point before converting her third break point to break back and level after 10 games.

In a tight tiebreaker, Tomljanovic earned a second set point at 6-5.

On this day, Putintseva was stronger on pivotal points. Putintseva saved the second set point.




The 29-year-old Putintseva, who owns a Wimbledon win over former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka, converted her third championship point on a Tomljanovic error to take the title.



Putintseva defeated Tomljanovic for the fifth time in six meetings, rising to No. 34 in the live rankings. 


 

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