Russian tennis player Liudmila Samsonova edged Chinese teen Zheng Qinwen 7-5, 7-5 in the Toray Pan Pacific Open final on Sunday to clinch her third title of the year.
This was the world No. 30 Samsonova’s 18th victory in her last 19 matches. The 23-year-old has now won three tournaments over that span, having picked up back-to-back titles in Washington D.C. and Cleveland in August. She will rise to a new career-high ranking just outside the Top-20 on Monday.
Such has been Samsonova’s form in the tournament that she lost serve just six times in Tokyo with wins over Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Zhang Shuai, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, and Wang Xinyu on way to the final.
“It was a really tough match because huge congrats to Qinwen and her team because she’s playing amazing. Seriously, congrats guys. It was a nervous match today. We were fighting every point. It was tough,” Samsonova was quoted as saying by wtatennis.com following her win over the world No. 36 Zheng Qinwen.
Despite the loss, Zheng enjoyed a standout week in Tokyo, where she became the first Chinese teenager to ever reach a WTA singles final. Her win over top seed Paula Badosa in the second round was her first completed Top-10 win. Following American Coco Gauff’s run to the French Open final, Zheng became the second teenager to make a WTA 500-level or higher final this season.
On Monday, she will become the first Chinese teenager to crack into the Top 30.