(Reuters) – Slovenian Polona Hercog overcame determined rookie Iga Swiatek 6-3 3-6 6-3 to win the Lugano Open on Sunday for her first title in seven years.
Hercog, ranked 89 in the world, shot out of the blocks after an hour-long rain delay early in the contest to win the opening set as 17-year-old Swiatek appeared to feel the pressure in the first final of her career.
Poland’s Swiatek, last year’s Wimbledon junior champion, raised her game midway through the second set to drag the contest into a decider.
However, after a shaky start to the third set where Hercog found herself down 2-0, the 28-year-old relied on her powerful serve to take control of the match before sealing the third title of her career.
Victory for Hercog, who stunned second seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening round, also meant that she is the 17th different winner in as many WTA tournaments this season.
Swiatek’s strong showing in the tournament is set to catapult the world number 115 into the top 100 for the first time in her career on Monday.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis