Fujiwara bags ITF title, stunning Linette
Vashi: Qualifier Rika Fujiwara saved two match points to stun top seeded Magda Linette of Poland to win the singles finals at the Ganesh Naik USD 25000 ITF Women’s tennis tournament here Saturday.
In the final, the 32-year old Fujiwara won her seventh match on the trot to come back from 3-5, 15-40, in the third set to win 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in a two-hour, 40-minute battle.
Fujiwara, who had won her last ITF event in Pune four years ago , played aggressively rushing to the net on numerous occasions and unnerving her opponent 12 years younger to her.
The former World no 84 and current Japanese National champion Fujiwara saved two match points in the eighth game of the third set with a brilliant cross-court volley and a backhand smash and then held serve to level scores at 5-5.
Both players then held serve forcing a tiebreak.
The experienced Japanese, who had the support of over 2000 spectators, attacked the young Linnette on her backhand and moving to the net and creating points.
Fujiwara jumped high when she hit a brilliant forehand winner to win the match and the top prize of USD 3,919 and 50 WTA points while Linette received USD 2100 and 32 points.