Winning the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota was more than just another title for Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. It gave the 23-year-old Slovakian her first tournament victory since 2015, her first WTA match wins since 2016, and elevated her ranking into the Top 100.
On top of all that, Schmiedlova's week in Colombia likely put her directly into the French Open main draw.
Schmiedlova was seen as a highly promising player in 2015, winning two WTA titles and reaching No. 26 in the world rankings. But then began a slide that saw her fall all the way to No. 273, including a 16-match winless streak at WTA events during a 2016 season when she won fewer than half a dozen matches.
She slowly regained her form in 2017, winning two $25,000 ITF events and then an $80,000 tournament. Schmiedlova was quoted saying she didn't have 'any idea' what caused her slump, but said the accumulating defeats had affected her confidence. But this week could be a turnaround, she suggested.
"I felt good since I came here. I just fought for every point, and I guess I broke the bad streak," Schmiedlova told press at Bogota, as quoted by the WTA.
She won her opening match in Bogota over Irina Falconi in three sets before defeating qualifier Renata Zarazúa and getting a retirement win from promising local wildcard Emiliana Arango. Then she played Ana Bogdan in a semifinal with big implications.
"It wasn't an easy match, I was really nervous," Schmiedlova said. "I knew this win would help me, a lot of points and I could get back in Top 100. It was really big pressure, but I'm really glad and happy that I [won] it."
By the time Schmiedlova played Lara Arruabarrena in the final, she was a lot more confident, and had just a small hiccup during the second set before winning in straight sets.
"I was much more nervous days before," she said.
The victory means Schmiedlova will move from No. 132 to No. 84 in the rankings, just as entries for Roland Garros are determined. Though the exact figure varies based on withdrawals and protected-ranking entries, players within the Top 100 usually get straight into a Grand Slam main draw, instead of having to play qualifying.