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In second-longest WTA final of 2022, Katerina Siniakova edges Elena Rybakina for Portoroz title
The WTA doubles world No. 1 captured her first singles title since 2017 with a win over reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
Published Sep 18, 2022
WATCH: Earlier this year, Siniakova defeated then-reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in Miami in three sets. Her win over reigning Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina is her 15th three-set match of 2022.
Talk about an iron woman: This week in Portoroz, Slovenia, Katerina Siniakova put in the hard yards to win the third WTA singles title of her career.
Returning quickly to Europe fresh off a US Open doubles triumph alongside Barbora Krejcikova just days earlier, Siniakova started her week with a straight-sets win over No. 4 seed Martina Trevisan of Italy on Wednesday. She later won both her quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Saturday after rain delays forced her quarterfinal match against another Italian, Jasmine Paolini, to be postponed on Friday.
Less than a day later, she sealed her first crowning moment in singles in five years. Siniakova rallied to win Sunday's final against No.3 seed Elena Rybakina 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-4, in 3 hours and 6 minutes.
It was the second-longest WTA singles final this year, trailing only Angelique Kerber's 3-hour and 16-minute 7-6(5), 6-7(0), 7-6(5) victory over Kaja Juvan in Strasbourg in May.
"I don't even know how I won, because I'm so tired," a relieved Siniakova said in her on-court victory speech. "I just tried to fight, and I'm so emotional now, because I didn't expect that.
"I really enjoyed the time here. It was so tough for me, but I really enjoyed it."
Though Siniakova fell a set behind against Rybakina, the way the opening set unfolded should've been a sign of things to come: The Czech won five straight games to level the set from 5-0 down, and saved five set points along the way before falling in the eventual tiebreak.
Siniakova ultimately trailed by a set and a break at 7-6(4), 4-3 before coming all the way back to win.
Siniakova's first two WTA singles titles came in 2017—first on on hard courts in Shenzhen, China and then on clay in Bastad, Sweden. Ranked No. 82 in singles to begin the week, Siniakova, the WTA's top-ranked doubles player, returns to the Top 50 with the victory.
Rybakina was playing in her first final since she defeated Ons Jabeur in three sets to triumph at the All-England Club in July.