It took Kateryna Bondarenko nine years to get back to a WTA singles final, but the 31-year-old mother of daughter Karin defied the odds this week at the Tashkent Open and lifted the champion’s trophy after a 6-4 6-4 victory over in-form second seed Timea Babos, becoming the first mom to achieve the feat since Kim Clijsters won the 2011 Australian Open.
The world No.133 Bondarenko, whose sole previous title had come way back in 2008, in the first title match of her career at Birmingham, not only dispatched Babos, a player ranked 81 spots higher, who had been coming off a run to the final in Quebec City, but also fellow mom on tour Vera Zvonareva, a former world No.2 and Wimbledon finalist.
The Ukrainian, who pushed through despite having played two singles matches and a doubles match the day before the final, is projected to return to the Top 100 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
What a title for her. I think it really means something for her. She’s always one of the most dangerous floaters in the tour. I hope she can sustain that till the end of the year.