Bett1 Open: Liudmila Samsonova signs off in Berlin with maiden title run

Liudmila Samsonova made the most of her week in Berlin by winning the Bett1 Open title – the first of her career, on Sunday. The Russian ranked 106th in the world, and a qualifier into the main draw, posted one last upset, over fifth seed Belinda Bencic to triumph in the inaugural edition of the event. Samsonova came from a set down to defeat the Swiss 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 37 minutes.

Samsonova hit 28 winners and 15 unforced errors in the match. After winning the title in the German city, Samsonova also became the 10th player to win her first title on the WTA tour in the 2021 season. On the same day, Ons Jabeur also won her first title at the Viking Classic in Birmingham to become the ninth player to achieve the milestone. 

Post-match, speaking with the media, Samsonova shared, “It’s unbelievable. I didn’t expect it. I [did] dream it, but it’s amazing.” Samsonova’s route to the title included back-to-back upsets over two top-20 players, the 16th ranked Victoria Azarenka in the semi-final and the 12th ranked Bencic in the final.

Bett1 Open: Liudmila Samsonova upsets her way into victory

At the start of the match, while the 22-year-old was understandably nervous, she was quick to rebound and turn the match around. Talking about how she changed the script of the match that had been favouring her opponent in the opening set, Samsonova shared, “I was so, so nervous today, even before the match, during the first set, I said, ‘Okay, let’s try to put more aggressive game.’ And it worked.”

Liudmila Samsonova, who was already assured of making a debut in the top-100 of the WTA ranking before reaching the final, has moved 43 spots up in the ranking and is now ranked 63rd in the world. A boost in the ranking aside, following her Bett1 Open title, the Russian also received a main draw wildcard at Wimbledon. “They just told me that I’m going to have the wildcard for the main draw, so I’m so happy,” the Russian shared, in her post-match press conference.

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