Titles for Ostapenko, Shapovalov, Bencic, Rublev

Published by Reuters / Tennismash

Jelena Ostapenko (Getty Images)
Jelena Ostapenko wins her first title in two years, Denis Shapovalov earns his maiden career title and Belinda Bencic and Andrey Rublev triumph in Moscow.

Jelena Ostapenko proved too strong for defending champion Julia Goerges in the Luxembourg Open final as she cruised past the German 6-4 6-1.

The 22-year-old Latvian, who captured the title at Roland Garros in 2017, won the third WTA crown of her career — yet first in more than two years — on Sunday after a solid display in her second final of the year.

At other indoor events in Europe, Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov broke through for his first career ATP title in Stockholm, while Belinda Bencic and Andrey Rublev scooped the WTA and ATP titles at Moscow’s Kremlin Cup.

It completed a dream week for Bencic, who with her semifinal victory clinched the eighth and final berth at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

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Ostapenko last week was beaten by 15-year-old American Coco Gauff in the Linz Open final, just when she looked like she was shedding the inconsistency that has dogged her game in recent months.

But the Luxembourg wildcard was in no mood to let another opportunity slip by in her final tournament of the year, sealing the decider on the back of her superb serve.

“Of course it’s great to finish the season with winning a title, especially in the last tournament,” said Ostapenko, who fired six aces and won 83 per cent of points off her first serve.

“I enjoyed this week so much. I think I played really well today. I just like to finish the year this way. Especially after making the final last week, I was much more confident in coming to this tournament.”

Shapovalov breaks through in Stockholm

Shapovalov captured his maiden ATP Tour title at the Stockholm Open, easing past Filip Krajinovic 6-4 6-4 in Sunday’s final.

Despite two victories over top-10 opponents in his career, a first trophy had proved elusive for the 20-year-old but Shapovalov was not to be denied by his Serbian opponent who was on a similar quest.

Shapovalov triumphed in style, sending down 16 aces and losing two points on his first serve while saving the only break point he faced in the 84-minute contest.

The world No.34 follows in the footsteps of Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who last year lifted the Stockholm trophy for his first tour-level title as a 20-year-old.

Tsitsipas was Shapovalov’s second top-10 victim, at the Miami Open earlier this year, following a stunning three-sets victory over Rafael Nadal at the Rogers Cup two years ago to announce himself on the big stage.

Shapovalov will look to carry his good form into the 21-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals starting on 5 November in Milan.

Bencic, Rublev scoop Moscow titles

Switzerland’s Bencic recovered from a set down to outclass local favourite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6 6-1 6-1 in the Kremlin Cup final to win her second title of the season and fourth overall.

The world No.10 switched gears after losing the opening set on Sunday, dropping only two of the last 14 games in a stunning show to swat aside the 2014 champion.

“It feels unbelievable right now. I still can’t imagine it,” said Bencic. “I had no pressure going into this match. We were so happy yesterday, celebrating (Shenzhen). This is the cherry on top.”

The 22-year-old will make her debut in the WTA Finals, which take place from October 27 to November 3, offering prize money of $US14 million ($A20 million).

Despite Pavlyuchenkova’s defeat, there was delight for the home fans when Rublev captured the men’s Kremlin Cup crown in the match following the women’s final on Centre Court.

Rublev mowed down seventh seed Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-0 in 62 minutes on his 21st birthday to seal his first title since 2017, when he captured his maiden ATP title in Umag, Croatia.

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