(Reuters) – Top seed Elina Svitolina prevailed in a three-hour thriller against Marie Bouzkova 7-5 4-6 6-4 to seize her first title of the season at the Monterrey Open in Mexico on Sunday.
In a battle of perseverance, Bouzkova had seven break point chances in the marathon opening game, finally converting on the seventh, which set the tone for the long battle ahead.
Svitolina would have to win five breaks of her own over the duration of the match to end a title drought of more than a year. “It was an amazing battle,” Ukraine’s Svitolina said at the trophy presentation.The No. 9 seed Czech Bouzkova refused to relent despite dropping the opening set. With the second set knotted at 3-3, Bouzkova took advantage of a pair of Svitolina miscues to move ahead before taking a commanding 5-3 on a break.Svitolina stormed back in the final set and appeared to be cruising when she moved ahead 4-1.With Svitolina serving for the title at 5-2, Bouzkova made a late charge to break the leader and pull back on serve at 5-4. Bouzkova could not carry the momentum in the roller coaster affair, and Svitolina garnered two match points. Ultimately, Svitolina’s forehand drop shot forced an error that clinched the title.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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