Gwalior: Ankita Raina won her first singles title in more than three years when she fought past second seed Amandine Hesse in straight sets in the final of the USD 25,000 ITF women's event on Saturday.
The fourth seed Indian, who has been in tremendous form in the last few months, beat the Frenchwoman 6-2 7-5 in the title clash which lasted one hour and 25 minutes.
The last time Ankita won a singles title was way back in December 2014, when she had triumphed in the Pune ITF event.
It was overall sixth singles career title for Ankita, who has lost nine other finals in the last six years. In the doubles, the 25-year-old has won 12 titles.
Ankita said she has matured not only as a player but also as a person and it was helping her in tough matches.
"Getting mentally strong and becoming mature as a player and as a person, it has come together. It helps. You can handle situations well. You don't get emotional. Situations are not going to be favourable always. I can think now during the matches. The maturity, required to pull off matches, is there," Ankita told PTI.
Asked to comment on her long title drought, the gritty player, who remained unbeaten in singles in India's campaign at the recent Fed Cup, said it has more to do with the improved level of competition on the circuit.
"I have been asked this before also why I have not won a title or why the ranking has not improved. The level has gone up. Even the players, who are ranked 600 play very good. It all depends on how you play on that particular day and the conditions."
Asked if she was relieved to end the barren run, Ankita quipped,"Why would I be relieved, I am happy about it."
Ankita will next travel to Japan to compete on the circuit.