13th NECC-ITF Women’s Tennis Tournament: Top seed Linette clinches NECC-ITF title
Pune, Dec 7:
Poland’s top seed Magda Linette kept her composure to beat Kazakhstan’s unseeded Kamila Kerimbayeva 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) and win the NECC-ITF women’s $25,000 event singles title at Deccan Gymkhana on Saturday.
In a hard fought battle between two players hitting big from both flanks, Linette stayed solid when it mattered most, especially towards the closing stages of both the sets, to win the winner’s cheque of $2,940 and 50 WTA ranking points.
After both the players exchanged early breaks, Linette broke the Kazak in the ninth game to go up 5-4. She was unable to hold her serve though, as Kerimbayeva made it 5-5. Linette got another break to go up 6-5, and this time managed to serve out the set with ease.
Kerimbayeva came out all guns blazing in the second set, and raced to a 5-1 lead in no time. Linette, however, started to get her rhythm back, and broke her rival twice in a row to level things up at 5-5. The top seed then broke Kerimbayeva again in the 11th, but once again failed to serve out the set. She held her nerve though to win the tie-break 7-5, and with it, her fifth ITF $25,000 level title of the year. The final lasted for an hour and 39 minutes, and was witnessed by 250-odd enthusiastic crowd.
Kerimbayeva had to settle for $1,666 and 34 WTA ranking points.