BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open
Women’s Final: [CR55] Mona Barthel (GER) vs. [CR92] Misaki Doi (JPN)
Doi defied the odds the entire tournament. She never let her diminutive stature or ranking diminish her determination to win this tournament. Every player en route to the victory was ranked higher. She has a good forehand; yet, many of her opponents had better. Her real weapon is her mental fortitude and her calm demeanor. It also helps that she is very quick around the court. She is no less affected by her emotions than other players; however, she just appeared to handle them much better than her opponents, including Barthel. Despite winning the second set in a tiebreak, Barthel inexplicably became unraveled. Suddenly she was double faulting and making excessive errors. She was discouraged despite winning the second set. It was a rather strange ending to the match, after competitive first and second sets, the third was a complete mental collapse from Barthel. Doi gets the credit though because she battled all tournament for this title. With the 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-0 defeat of Barthel, Doi claimed her first WTA singles title.
Women’s Final: [CR35] Caroline Garcia (FRA) vs. [CR202] Naomi Osaka (JPN)
Like her country woman, Osaka was ranked much lower than all the opponents she dismissed this tournament. She was not expected to win the title as she was playing the number 35 ranked player on tour. Things looked pretty grim for the teenager after she lost the first set and was down 0-3 in the second. Somehow, Garcia managed to lose this match from a winning position. Garcia, the veteran, was the one who mentally fell apart in the latter stages of the match. She was the one with all the pressure and it showed as she anxiously went for shots that were highly improbable. Osaka played from behind the entire match and the teenager stepped up the level of play in the latter stages to steal the victory 3-5, 5-4, 4-1. The scoring is a tad confusing; however, the second set was won in a tiebreak after Garcia had four set/match points. Osaka claimed the first title of her young professional career and expect to see much more from her in the future.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH DOI AND OSAKA!