Eugenie Bouchard had her chances but Sara Sorribes Tormo was just too steady on the big points, beating the former No. 5 in a tight two-setter, 6-2, 7-5, to win her first WTA title in Guadalajara.

“It’s incredible. I just can’t believe it,” the Spaniard said. “I just can’t put words to it.”

There was very little between the two early on in the match—the first six games alone lasted 45 minutes, with Sorribes Tormo creeping ahead, 4-2. After she broke again for a 5-2 lead things started snowballing, as Bouchard smashed her racquet and the Spaniard stretched that lead to 6-2, 3-1.

Things got much more interesting from there, though. Bouchard held at love and eventually reeled off four games in a row to go up 5-3 in the second set, and after Sorribes Tormo broke back for 5-4, the Canadian was two points from taking the set in the next game and sending the final to a decider.

But the Spaniard held for 5-all, broke at love for 6-5, and held one last time to close it out in straight sets after an hour and 55 minutes—putting a forehand volley into the open court on match point.

Sorribes Tormo won her first WTA title in what was also her first WTA final—her previous-best results on the tour were a pair of semifinals on clay in 2017, in Bogota, Colombia and Gstaad, Switzerland.

She’s projected to rise from No. 71 to No. 57 on Monday, surpassing her previous high of No. 62.

At the end of the day, it may have all come down to consistency—Bouchard had 18 more winners than Sorribes Tormo in the match, 23 to 5, but she also had 23 more unforced errors, 39 to 16.

“She gets a lot of balls back, and I didn’t figure out the right balance of being patient and aggressive,” Bouchard said. “I felt like when I was aggressive I was missing too many balls, but when I was trying to be more conservative I kind of got sucked into the long rallies. So I didn’t quite figure it out today.”

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Sorribes Tormo outsteadies Bouchard for first WTA title in Guadalajara

Sorribes Tormo outsteadies Bouchard for first WTA title in Guadalajara

AP

Bouchard is now 1-7 in WTA finals, the title coming in Nürnberg, Germany during her breakthrough 2014 season. But reaching the Guadalajara final was a very encouraging sign for the Canadian—it’s her second final in the last six months, having finished runner-up on clay in Istanbul last September.

“I’m just working on trying to improve every day,” Bouchard said. “It’s just a long road. I just want to keep trying to play a lot of tournaments and a lot of matches—I think that’s what’s been lacking for me, obviously last year with COVID, but even the last couple of years I wasn’t playing enough. So the more I put myself in these positions, the more chances I’ll give myself to win a tournament.”

The Canadian’s ranking is also going to get a big boost from this result—she came in ranked No. 144 and will rise to approximately No. 116 on Monday. She was ranked No. 332 a year ago.

Sorribes Tormo outsteadies Bouchard for first WTA title in Guadalajara

Sorribes Tormo outsteadies Bouchard for first WTA title in Guadalajara