Unseeded Mayar Sherif won her first-ever WTA singles title with a 7-5, 6-3 upset of top seed Maria Sakkari of Greece at the Parma Ladies Open in Italy on Saturday.
She accomplished two other firsts. It was Sherif’s first win over a top 10 player, and she became the first woman from Egypt to win a WTA title. En route, she fell behind 2-0 in the first set, then rallied to break Sakkari’s serve four times in the opening set.
Because of rain on Friday, semifinal play was postponed to Saturday, with those matches contested before the title match.
Sherif’s first win on the day came against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan of Romania in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 match that lasted two hours, 52 minutes. Still, she had enough left to defeat Sakkari, who knocked out Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in their 92-minute semifinal match 7-5, 6-2
Top-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia will play for the title of the inaugural tournament in front of a home-country crowd on Sunday.
She defeated fellow Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-4 in a packed arena in a match that lasted one hour, 20 minutes. It was the first-ever professional match between Estonia’s top two players, and the victory extended Kontaveit’s win streak indoors to 24.
In the final, she will face Czech Barbora Krejcikova, the No. 7 seed, who upset No. 2 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in a grueling 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 6-2 match that lasted three hours, 22 minutes. Krejcikova won 78 percent of her first-serve points and kept Bencic on the run, forcing 20 break points but converting only three. Bencic struck 10 aces but they were negated by 10 double faults.
–Field Level Media