Safarova wins 2016 J&T Banka Prague Open
Safarova Wins Prague Open In Come From Behind Victory.
Lucie Safarova won the 2016 J&T Banka Prague Open final on Saturday with a come from behind victory over Sam Stosur. Losing the first set 3-6, Safarova fought back to beat the Australian Stosur in the second and third sets, 6-1 and 6-4.
“It was a big fight,” Safarova said after the tournament. “It’s always tough against her [Stosur]. I was waiting for my chance, and it came in the second set.”
Playing in front of a very passionate, vocal home crowd, Safarova completed 14 aces during the match. The Czech star was also helped by Stosur’s poor service throughout the day. The Australian committed several double faults, including four in one game, which allowed Safarova to overturn the deficit, and march to victory.
Despite winning five straight matches at the Prague Open, and being the second-seed at the tournament, Safarova was winless in this season’s WTA. In fact, until her recent performance at the Stuttgart Open, Safarova hadn’t won a set in 2016.
The Czech’s slow start to the season can be credited to a bacterial infection she contracted after her 2015 French Open final loss to Serena Williams.
Safarova was hospitalized for a week in September, but still made the WTA Finals in October. However, suffering from the effects of her treatment, Safarova struggled in Singapore at the tournament, being eliminated in the group stage.
Safarova’s post-treatment struggles from her bacterial infection continued in early 2016 as she pulled out of the Australian Open Series.
While Safarova had to get through fellow countryman Karolina Pliskova in straight sets on Friday, Stosur’s route to the final was simpler. Stosur’s semi-final opponent, Russina Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew from the tournament with an abdominal muscle injury. Kuznetsova was the top-seed at the tournament and had been tipped as the competition’s favorite to lift the trophy.
Safarova’s win at the Prague Open makes it her seventh WTA title, although she is still searching for her first Grand Slam singles trophy.
Safarova is currently ranked 16th in the world, according to the WTA’s official rankings.
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