Barbora Krejcikova beat Sofia Kenin 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the final of the San Diego Open to win her second singles title of the year and seventh of her career. The two players both entered on wildcards and proved the value of such entries at this level, treating the sell-out crowd of 2,628 fans to 2:39 hours of tennis.
Demonstrating how close the match was, the winner only had three total points more than the runner-up, 105 and 102. Kenin saved 8/12 break points, a higher percentage than her opponent, but it was not enough in the end. Krejcikova took advantage of her second championship point to seal the title.
The 2021 French Open champion Krejcikova was delayed in coming to press because she also played the doubles final, in which she and Katerina Siniakova defeated Americans Danielle Collins and CoCo Vandeweghe. The match was the last of Vandeweghe’s tennis career as she chose the hometown tournament for her retirement to celebrate with countless friends and family.
Speaking with press more than six hours after she first took the court, the dual trophy champion explained that San Diego itself played a role in her success:
When I got here for the first time, I was telling the person that is supporting me here, that I really like this place and I really want to just enjoy this place because it clicked. It just feels like very close to me here for whatever reason.
Despite the good feeling into the tournament, there was no doubt that the final would be a battle:
I knew that she’s very solid from both sides that she’s serving solid. She’s very mentally strong.
The never-give-up mentality that both finalists brought to the stadium had fans cheering for both players, enjoying the high quality hitting from both sides of the net, regardless of what flag either player had next to their name on the scoreboard.
Reaching the final helped the former world number four, Kenin, go up a staggering 50 points in the live rankings, moving from 93 at the start of the tournament to 43 by Saturday night. The American confirmed to Women’s Tennis Blog that she’s been keeping an eye on the points trackers:
I’ve been checking it every day after my matches, I’m just super happy with my progress.
Despite the obvious disappointment after such a close final, the 24-year-old was in good spirits after the match, telling media:
I can’t really complain. Just a few shots here and there didn’t go my way. I feel like I’m in a much better place and mindset. It’s all positives from my side.
Kenin is in the draw to play in Guadalajara next week, but seemed uncertain about her plans for the rest of the season when she met with press after the final. The world No.13 Krejcikova was relieved to report that she has an early flight back home to the Czech Republic, where she can recuperate from an incredible but taxing week.