Marta Sirotkina, of Russia, won the singles title at the AEGON GB Pro-Series Barnstaple international tennis tournament today.
Sirotkina, the 22-year-old world No 171, came from a set down to defeat seventh seed Kristyna Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(6).
There was some consolation for Pliskova later when she won the doubles title with Britain’s Naomi Broady.
Sirotkina, who was unseeded, defeated four seeds on her way to lifting the Dartington Vase at the Tarka Tennis Centre, with Pliskova following Tadeja Majeric, Alison Riske and Johanna Konta.
It was her fourth singles final in a year interrupted by a bout of glandular fever but her first victory.
She made the most of the vast difference between her opponent’s first and second serves and, after twice serving for the match and twice having championship point, finally got over the line in the third-set tie-break.
The powerful, deep first serve of left-hander Pliskova brought her 21 aces. But Sirotkina won 33 of the 42 points – more than 78% – on Pliskova’s second serve.
The 21-year-old Czech player, currently ranked 134 in the world but as high as 86 in January, came from a break down to win the first set in a tie-break.
That only turned more in a crowd of about 250 to support underdog Sirotkina and she came out firing in the second set.
She held serve to love in the first game and, despite committing some unforced errors, did the same in the ninth to take the set 6-3.
Again the Russian showed her determination in the final set, coming back from 2-0 down to win five successive games.
Serving for the championship for the first time, Sirotkina double-faulted to give Pliskova a break point that she converted.
The next time she served for the title, Sirotkina saw a championship point slip away as a rally ended with the Russian, with her back to the court, putting a backhand lob just long. Pliskova broke serve, then held her own with two aces to wipe out Sirotkina’s advantage.
Sirotkina had championship point for the second time at 6-5 in the tie-break and her eyes must have lit up when Pliskova failed to get her first serve in. But again she could not make the most of the opportunity and netted a backhand.
The third chance came after a superb backhand kissed the line and this time, on her own serve, Sirotkina forced Pliskova to net.
There was little respite for the Czech player who was soon back on court with Broady for a doubles final that also went the distance.
The fourth seeds, teaming up at a tournament for only the second time, eventually won in a champions tie-break, beating second seeds Raluca Olaru, of Romania, and Tamira Paszek, of Austria, 6-3, 3-6 (10-5). It was Broady’s fifth doubles title of the year.