Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova ended her breakthrough week by winning her first Hologic WTA Tour singles title at the Chennai Open in comeback fashion.
Fruhvirtova, 17, defeated No. 3 seed Magda Linette of Poland 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Sunday’s final, earning her first championship trophy on the tour. Fruhvirtova trailed 4-1 in the third set before collecting the final five games of the game.
Continue reading: Linda Fruhvirtova is in no rush to become the next teenage tennis star
It took Fruhvirtova two and a half hours to achieve victory over Linette, a two-time singles title listing on tour. The teenager avenged a loss to Linette at their only previous meeting in Cleveland last year.
At 17 years and 141 days, Fruhvirtova is the youngest champion of the season so far. She is the youngest singles champion on tour since Coco Gauff won Parma last year at 17 years and 70 days.
Following her exploits in Chennai, Fruhvirtova is expected to make her top-100 debut in Monday’s updated individual rankings.
Despite the loss, a trip to her fifth career final means Linette is likely to return to the top 50 at No. 67. Linette’s career high is world No. 33 achieved in 2020.
Sunday’s final in Chennai was a brave victory for Fruhvirtova, who converted half of her six break points while fending off seven of the nine she faced in the final.
Linette was the early leader as she broke 5-4 in the first set a forehand winner from a drop shot. Linette took the lead for the first time all day and took the opportunity to hold at love to cement the one-set lead.
But Fruhvirtova eventually sank her teeth into the match, earning her first break of the day for a 5-3 lead in the second set. Fruhvirtova leveled the match by consolidating in the next game and finishing a set in which she never had a break point.
A forehand winner gave Linette the first break of the decider for a 3-1 lead and after holding 4-1, the Pole seemed to be in charge. But Fruhvirtova used powerful shots to pull serve back at 4-3 and the Czech teenager went ahead with a break at 5-4 with a sterling return.
Fruhvirtova never gave up that advantage, converting her first championship point into her first title in the following game.
Sunday was a big day for the Fruhvirtova family as Linda’s younger sister Brenda claimed her fifth consecutive ITF Challenger title, this time in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy. Brenda, 15, is on a 25-game winning streak in ITF Challenger events.
There’s more to come…