World number one Iga Swiatek captured her 11th career WTA title and her eighth of the year on Sunday by outlasting 77th-ranked Donna Vekic in the San Diego Open final.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek defeated the 26-year-old Croatian 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 for her WTA-best 64th match victory of 2022.
“It was a really tight match and pretty long," Swiatek said. “We felt the intensity for sure. At the end I wanted to be the one who played the last ball in."
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Swiatek took her prior titles this year at the US and French Opens as well as Qatar, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome.
The 21-year-old Polish star bounced back in her ninth championship match of the year after losing last week’s final at Ostrava to Czech Barbora Krejcikova.
In a rain-halted semi-final delayed to Sunday afternoon, Vekic rallied from 4-2 down in the third set when showers struck to defeat 19th-ranked American Danielle Collins, this year’s Australian Open runner-up, by 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2).
That left her only a short rest break before facing Swiatek for the title, but she tested the top-ranked star through two sets.
Swiatek broke in the sixth game and held twice to capture the first set after 40 minutes when Vekic netted a backhand.
In the second set, Vekic broke on a forehand crosscourt winner for a 4-2 lead and held twice to force a third set. It caused Swiatek to step up her form.
“I wanted to give it all, and knowing how Donna can serve, I wanted to be more loosened up on my return games — not think, just relax and let my instincts take over," Swiatek said.
She broke on a forehand winner to seize a 2-0 edge in the decider, broke again in the fourth game and captured the match after one hour and 47 minutes when Vekic double-faulted away the last break.
Vekic was in her first WTA final since she won her third career title last October at Courmayeur, Italy.
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