Wildcard CoCo Vandeweghe ended No. 2 Bernarda Pera’s 16-match winning streak 6-3 5-7 6-4 in the finals of the Thoreau Tennis Open and claimed her biggest title in over six years at the WTA 125- events
Former world No. 9 Vandeweghe has been struggling for over four years a number of injuries and health problems including a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome and an unusual microwave accident that required reconstructive surgery on a finger. She has not entered the top 100 since February 2019 and her last singles title at any level was ‘s-Hertogenbosch 2016.
Vandeweghe, 30, came in 192nd at Concord, with her best result in 2022 being a quarterfinal run at Charleston as a lucky loser. Her title run also included a win over No. 1-seeded Clara Tauson 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals and a former top-20 player in Wang Qiang 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals.
In the final, two-time Major semi-finalist Vandeweghe was able to fend off her compatriot Pera with her famous serve. She landed a total of 12 aces and wasn’t broken until the penultimate game of the second set. But Vandeweghe’s return was also up to the occasion when the need arose. In the deciding set, Pera came back to serve twice after collapsing, only for Vandeweghe, who took an inch lead again. Vandeweghe sealed the title with a break to love, earning her first championship point with a powerful backhand return that drew Pera’s error.
Pera in 56th place still underscored her credentials as one of this summer’s most improved players. The 27-year-old had won her first two back-to-back Hologic WTA Tour titles on European clay last month in Budapest and Hamburg. On a different surface and continent, she reached her third straight final, notably saving a match point in the second round to go 2-6 7-6(6) 6-3 against Anna Blinkova.
Scott keeps climbing, Wang Qiang finds form
In 2021, American teenager Katrina Scott reached the milestone of a first WTA 125 Quarterfinals in Concord. A year later, the 18-year-old went one better. After surviving qualification, Scott advanced to the semifinals where Pera halted her run 6-4, 6-2.
Scott has already won three ITF W25 titles in 2022, amassed a 31-10 record and has risen to 242 in the rankings. In Concord, she prevailed over Karolina Muchova in the second round after a wrist injury forced the Czech to trail 6-3, 4-0. In the quarterfinals, Scott triumphed in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 barnburner over wildcard Taylor Townsend, who played Event 6 of her comeback from parental leave.
Former world No. 12 Wang also impressed as she reached her second consecutive hard court semi-final. The Chinese was in the last four in Prague two weeks ago and endured a rollercoaster ride in the second round against No. 5 seed Viktorija Golubic 6-0, 0-6, 6-3 before defending the No. 4 seed’s title Magdalena Frech finished 6:2, 6:4 in the quarterfinals.
Elsewhere, Harmony Tan returned to fighting for the first time since breaking through to the fourth round of Wimbledon. The French advanced to the second round before losing four match points to Katie Volynets 4-6 6-0 7-6(4).