WTA Tour: China’s Zhang Shuai claims third career title in Lyon


China’s Zhang Shuai came back from one set down to defeat Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at a WTA 250 event in Lyon, ending her five-year singles title drought in Tour level.

It was Zhang’s third WTA singles title after her last final victory in Guangzhou, China in 2017.

The No. 8 seed had to fight back from a break twice in the final set before securing the match in an hour and 46 minutes, reports Xinhua.

“An incredible week, very high-quality match in the final,” Zhang said after her win on Sunday. “I saw (Yastremska) grow up over the last three or four years, she’s already won many tournaments. She plays so well, very powerful, so I was really focused on myself today. I’m really proud of winning.”

The 33-year-old Zhang was making her debut in Lyon but powered into the final without losing a set in her four matches.

Ranking world No. 140, Yastremska went into the match well in the opening set, firing 13 winners to just three unforced errors to take an upper hand.

The Ukrainian extended her momentum in the second set to break early, but Zhang found her play gradually, pocketing four games in a row to take a 4-1 lead. The 64th-ranked Zhang continued to press her opponent hitting, before finishing the set with a clean love to level the match.

Yastremska restored her form in the deciding set, led with 2-0 and then 4-2, but Zhang immediately broke back each time. After breaking again in the 11th game, Zhang took a 5-4 lead and grabbed the chance in the 12th to serve for the title.



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