Monday June 15th 2015
TEENAGER KONJUH BEATS NICULESCU IN AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM FINAL TO LIFT THE ELENA BALTACHA TROPHY
Teenager Ana Konjuh won her first WTA title in Monday’s delayed Aegon Open Nottingham final, coming from a set down to beat Monica Niculescu of Romania 1-6 6-4 6-2 and lift The Elena Baltacha Trophy.
With rain over the weekend forcing the final to be played on an eighth day of the main draw, the Croatian 17-year-old made a slow start and dropped her first and only set of the tournament in less than half an hour.
Konjuh, the only under-18 in world top 100, broke Niculescu’s serve four times in the final two sets at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Konjuh said: “It means a lot, especially because it’s the first year here. It feels great, I didn’t expect it. I came here two days before to acclimatise on grass, and after five matches I’ve won the tournament, so it feels great.
“The first set wasn’t going my way but I had to stay calm. I just knew that my game was going to come and I did it much better in the second set. I’m really glad to get that win today.”
And, with Niculescu toppling first seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals, Konjuh was aware of the threat the Romanian posed.
“She’s an uncomfortable player, especially on grass with that many slices,” Konjuh said. “It’s so frustrating. She had that experience and took the first set because I wasn’t ready for it.
Konjuh, the World No. 87, added: “I had a perfect week and I hope to see everyone next year.
“I will remember it. It’s going to hold a special place in my heart, this tournament.”
Despite the result, World No. 61 Niculescu remained upbeat after her fifth three-set match of the tournament, having also won an ITF event in Marseille last Sunday and reaching the doubles quarter-finals in Nottingham.
Niculescu said: “Maybe I was not at my best in the final, I was a bit tired. She was serving and hitting the ball very hard. My return was not great, I was struggling a little bit. I’m happy to be here because I had so many tough three-set matches and came straight from Marseille in the heat and had to come to a new surface. But I’m really happy about this week and I’m really positive. My ranking will be better after this final hopefully. Life goes on.
“I don’t want to take away from her title because she played amazing.
“She played well, she deserved it. She’s a young, up and coming player. To have a title at 17, it’s amazing. I see her going very far in the rankings. This is just the beginning for her.”
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AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM - NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND
8-14 JUNE, 2015
RESULTS - JUNE 15, 2015
Singles - Finals
A. Konjuh (CRO) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 16 64 62
The Aegon Open Nottingham will see two tournaments take place in June, the women’s WTA event taking place from 6-14 June 2015, and the men’s ATP event being staged from 20-27 June 2015. Both tournaments will be an integral part of the new British grass court season, which in 2015 will see a three week window between Roland Garros and Wimbledon for the first time. The extended grass court season will enable some of the world’s elite players extra time to find their feet on grass and make the most of the best grass-courts in the country.