Kerber lands Linz title
Top-seeded Angelique Kerber overcame Ana Ivanovic 6-4 7-6 (8-6) to win her first WTA title of the year at the Generali Ladies in Linz on Sunday.
The German was given a severe test by two-time former champion Ivanovic, who produced some outstanding tennis at times, but just fell short of winning her first title of the season, in a topsy-turvy contest.
Kerber, who had already clinched the eighth and final spot at the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul later this month, raced into a 4-1 lead before being pegged back by the Serb.
However, she broke for the third time in the set to finally seal it.
The 25-year-old, ranked 10th in the world, then denied Ivanovic the chance to level things up by saving four set points before taking it to a tie-break.
And Kerber rebounded back from her Tokyo final defeat to Petra Kvitova two weeks ago by landing her third career title following wins in Paris and Copenhagen last year.
She clinched a tight contest by battling back in a tense tie-breaker to win the match in one hour and 37 minutes.
"At the end it was pretty close," said a relieved Kerber during her post-match interview.
"I am very happy to have won because Ana is an exceptional player.
"I focused on myself but I should have been calmer about taking my chances for winning the match."