Mihaela Buzarnescu dominates Maria Sakkari to win first WTA title

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Mihaela Buzarnescu, of Romania, gestures to the crowd after defeating Elise Mertens, of Belgium, during the semifinals of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. Buzarnescu won 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
Mihaela Buzarnescu, who just a year ago was No. 142 in the world, will rise to 20th when the updated rankings are released on Monday.

Mihaela Buzarnescu cruised to her first WTA title by dominating first-time finalist Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-0 at the Silicon Valley Classic on Sunday.



The 30-year-old Romanian lost 19 points and needed just 73 minutes to wrap up the final.

“I was able to take all the emotions away and keep focused, and try to take it as a normal match, not as a final,” Buzarnescu told reporters.

“Even after the first set, I thought she could come back, so it was really not easy. After leading 3-0, I thought I could really win the match.”

Greek Sakkari, 23, had proven capable of dramatic comebacks after stunning Venus Williams and Danielle Collins en route to the final but there would be no magical turnaround on Sunday.



Buzarnescu won the first five games in less than 20 minutes before Sakkari got on the board.

“It was not easy. I woke up and I was still tired from yesterday, but she was very good today,” said Sakkari, who incurred 34 unforced errors.

“I wasn’t moving great, and it’s one of my weapons, so it wasn’t easy after two long matches and very intense days. I gained confidence and experience and it was a great week for me.”

Buzarnescu, who just a year ago was No. 142 in the world, will rise to 20th when the updated rankings are released on Monday.

“Maybe people will look differently at me now, but I don’t want to change anything – just think of the good moments, and play,” said Buzarnescu, who lost in two finals this year.

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