[CR52] Mona Barthel (GER) vs. [CR72] Johanna Larsson (SWE)
Reversal of fortunes was the theme of today’s matches. It began with Larsson. She had never defeated Barthel in three previous encounters. It appeared to be heading in the same direction when she was broken early in the first set. However, never underestimate the inspiration garnered from playing in front of home crowd. Like Andy Murray, Larsson seemed to thrive off the energy coming from the crowd. She broke back and kept going to win the first set. The second set was more competitive, with each player battling their internal demons as well as each other. Barthel tried desperately to reclaim her dominance over Larsson. Although there were numerous breaks in the second set, it was not to be today. The inevitable tiebreak decided the outcome in favor of Larsson. She accomplished two firsts today: she defeated Barthel for the first time; however, more important, she won her first WTA Tour singles title 6-3, 7-6(2).
[CR24] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) vs. [CR161] Rajeev Ram (USA)
Ram had lost their only other encounter. He knew it would be a tough match against the “big serving” Croat. His primary objective, hold his serve. His secondary objective, break Karlovic’s serve, not as easy. Ram achieved his primary objective and no surprise, the first set was decided by a tiebreak. Ram did what he was unable to do in the first set, break in the tiebreak to win the first set. The second set, he failed to accomplish his primary objective. Although he had a higher first serve percentage, he faced more break points and was unable to avoid being broken. The pressure of playing someone like Karlovic is immense and if you think too much about it, you will be defeated before you even step on court. Ram showed his improved confidence in the third. Despite losing the second, he stayed calm and trusted in his ability to compete with Karlovic. He redoubled his efforts in the third and forced a second tiebreak. It was a battle, and victory went to Ram. He defeated Karlovic 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(2) and claimed his second title at this tournament.
[CR20] Sara Errani (ITA) vs. [CR60] Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)
This was the third match that ended in a reversal of fortune for the victor. Their previous encounter was won by Errani. Schmiedlova wanted to change the outcome this time around. Almost with identical scores, she defeated Errani 7-6(3), 6-3 and avenged the loss of a Final she suffered earlier this year to Errani.