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Buzarnescu dominates Sakkari to win her first WTA title

By Agencies - Aug 06,2018 - Last updated at Aug 06,2018

Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania returns a shot to Maria Sakkari of Greece in the finals of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, California, on Sunday (AFP photo)

SAN JOSE  — 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 yesterday.

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 today.

“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.

Buzarnescu continued her remarkable rise by breaking into the WTA top 20 for the first time on Monday after winning her maiden Tour title in San Jose.

The 30-year-old left-hander was ranked outside the world’s top 500 at the last start of last season, but beat Greek Maria Sakkari on Sunday after losing her first two WTA Tour finals earlier this year in Hobart and Prague.

Her compatriot and French Open champion Simona Halep maintained her healthy lead as World No. 1, while 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams stayed 26th after her embarrassing 6-1, 6-0 thrashing by Johanna Konta in the San Jose first round.

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