No.6 seed Darja Semenistaja of Latvia came back from a set and a break down and saved a championship point on the way to her first WTA 125 singles title at the L & T Mumbai Open.
Semenistaja defeated Australia’s Storm Hunter 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-2 in Sunday’s final to capture the highest-level singles title of her career. The 21-year-old was a point away from defeat in the second-set tiebreak, but held on for the comeback win after two-and-a-half hours of play.
Ranked World No.121 and the Latvian No.2 behind Jelena Ostapenko, Semenistaja had already garnered a measure of WTA 125 success this year, when she won the doubles title alongside Veronika Erjavec at WTA 125 Canberra in January.
Semenistaja also continues her run of success in India this year. In January, she captured one ITF Challenger singles title and two ITF Challenger doubles titles in India.
In Sunday’s all-left-handed final full of twists and turns, Semenistaja served for the first set at 5-3 and had four set points on Hunter’s serve at 5-4.
But Hunter, who finished last year ranked World No.1 in doubles, buckled down to erase all of those set points, and won four games in a row to steal the opening set.
In the second set, Hunter came back from 4-2 down and served for the championship at 5-4. Hunter did not take that opportunity, but she got an even bigger chance in the second-set tiebreak when she fired a forehand winner to line up championship point at 6-5.
However, Hunter netted her service return to change ends at 6-6. On the next point, Semenistaja drew a Hunter backhand error to grab her first set point at 7-6. There, Semenistaja slammed a forehand winner down the line to swipe the second set from championship point down.
Semenistaja took control after that. In the third set, the Latvian broke Hunter twice and never faced a break point. Semenistaja ended the match the same way she ended the second set — with a down-the-line forehand winner.
Earlier on Sunday, No.2 seeds Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia and American Sabrina Santamaria won the L & T Mumbai Open doubles title, defeating the Netherlands’ Arianne Hartono and Indian hope Prarthana Thombare 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Jakupovic and Santamaria converted five of their seven break points in the final. Jakupovic has now won five WTA 125 doubles titles, while Santamaria claimed the second WTA 125 doubles title of her career.