Karolina Pliskova won her first title of the season by defeating CoCo Vandeweghe in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
The former world number one did not start the year the way she would have wanted on her favoured hard courts but has hit top form on clay in Germany this week and defeated Vandeweghe 7-6 (7/2) 6-4.
This was only Pliskova’s second title on clay and by far her biggest, adding to the one she won on home soil in Prague in 2015.
Along with the trophy, 470 ranking points and more than 100,000 euros in prize money, Pliskova also takes home a Porsche – although she does not have a driving licence.
The world number six admitted the spoils of victory were playing on her mind as she failed to serve it out at the first time of asking.
She said on wtatennis.com: “(My) serve was OK, the end was a little bit shaky I would say, but it’s normal when you are playing and the car is waiting there.”
This was a meeting of two players more known for their prowess on faster surfaces, with Vandeweghe playing in her first clay final.
The American went an early break up but Pliskova hit back and then recovered from 2-0 down in the tie-break, winning seven straight points. The Czech faltered when serving for the match at 5-2 in the second but completed the task at the second time of asking.
She said: “I think it’s huge for me because I did some work but not always after you do some good work you get rewarded immediately with a title. I didn’t think it’s going to be that easy or that quick.
“I think it was a great week with a lot of tough matches. I just stayed there mentally, which is always important. I think it was a good start but hopefully I can (have) some more victories on clay.”
At the Istanbul Cup, France’s Pauline Parmentier, ranked 122, won her first WTA Tour title for 10 years with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.
Parmentier collapsed to the clay in delight at the end while Hercog angrily smashed her racket before shaking hands.