Pan Pacific Open: In-form Liudmila Samsonova beats Zheng Qinwen to claim title | Tennis News

TOKYO: Lyudmila of Russia Samsonova won her third title in four tournaments by beating the Chinese Zheng Qinwen 7-5, 7-5 in the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo on Sunday.
The scorching world number 30 triumphed in Washington and Cleveland in August and she produced a series of deadly upsets in the Japanese capital en route to another title.
Defeat Samsonova Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and two times Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza and hasn’t dropped a set all week.
Booming teenager Zheng was making her first WTA final after knocking out the top seed Paula Badosa in the second round.
The 19-year-old faced Samsonova in a tight match, but her serve was broken late in the first set to let the Russian take control.
Both players traded breaks midway through the second set, but the decisive moment came when Samsonova took a 6-5 lead to serve for the match.
The 23-year-old calmly took down her opponent in the final game and sealed the deal when Zheng hit a wide return.
Samsonova’s victory came after a host of big names withdrew early from the tournament.
US Open semi-finalist Caroline Garcia of France joined Badosa in a second-round exit, while Japanese favorite and defending champion Naomi Osaka withdraws with abdominal pain.
The tournament was held for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.

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