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Bouzkova rolls past Potapova to clinch Prague Open title


Prague (Czech Republic), July 31 (IANS) Czech Marie Bouzkova captured the Prague Open and the first WTA Tour singles title of her career after registering a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Anastasia Potapova in the final, here on Sunday.

The ninth Czech to reach the final in Prague since the event began in 2015, Bouzkova is the fifth to win on home soil, joining Karolina Pliskova, Lucie Safarova, Petra Kvitova and Barbora Krejcikova. She didn’t lose a set in five victories and dropped just 26 games in 10 sets.

Bouzkova is also the fifth first-time singles champion on tour this year, alongside Potapova, Martina Trevisan (Rabat), Beatriz Haddad Maia (Nottingham) and Bernarda Pera (Budapest).

“It’s a dream for me to win my first title here at home. I just couldn’t be happier. … It’s a dream come true and I enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd so much,” a beaming Bouzkova said in her victory speech.

The 24-year-old Bouzkova had been runner-up in three other Hologic WTA Tour singles finals in her career to date, including earlier this year in Guadalajara, Mexico to Sloane Stephens.

Each of those finals extended to three sets, but there was no threat of that for the eighth-seeded Czech in her fourth. She won the first seven games, and broke Potapova serve seven times in 71 minutes.

The first game in fact set the tone. Potapova, the No 7 seed, led 40-15 on serve but was eventually broken. Bidding for her second title of the year after triumphing in Istanbul in April, Potapova racked up 44 unforced errors in 15 games.

This week, Bouzkova was playing her first event since reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, where she was beaten by eventual runner-up Ons Jabeur. Entering the tournament ranked No. 66, Bouzkova is projected to rise to a new career-high in the Top 50 on Monday.



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