No. 2 seed Elise Mertens defeated Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-2 in the Samsung Open final Sunday to win her second WTA singles title of the year.
Belgian Mertens’ consistency ultimately won her the match in Lugano, Switzerland, with nine winners and only seven unforced errors against the World No. 61 Sabalenka.
Mertens, 22, broke her opponent four times despite the 19-year-old Sabalenka hitting 24 winners, including three aces.
“[Sabalenka is] very powerful and also has a great serve, so I tried to keep my balls deep and as aggressive as I could,” Mertens told the WTA’s official website. “I kept her moving and tried to play my game, always trying to keep one more ball in the court.”
— WTA (@WTA) April 15, 2018
She added: “So many games were 40-40 and it could have gone either way. But I’m really happy that I pulled through yesterday and the day before, because these weren’t easy. It was a great match today and I hope everyone here today liked it”
Mertens faced several stumbling blocks before the final, with rain interrupting play throughout the week and a tough match against defending champion Marketa Vondrousova in the second round.
The world No. 20 also won three back-to-back three-set matches the day before the championship final.
Mertens won her second Hobart International Championships earlier this year, having also won in 2017, becoming the first person to lift the trophy twice.