Linda Fruhvirtova, the 17-year-old Czech tennis sensation, stunned Poland’s No. 2 and the tournament’s No. 3 seed Magda Linette in the WTA Chennai final to lift her maiden Tour-level title under sweltering conditions. The match lasted two hours and 40 minutes.
On the men’s side of things, Carlos Alcaraz has already been passed the baton following his sizzling US Open title triumph a week ago. And while events in Chennai do not stack up in grandeur and prestige, by comparison, Linda Fruhvirtova’s maiden WTA title was the sort of victory that could prove to be career-defining.
She came, she conquered and she's just 17 years old!!!
— wta (@WTA) September 18, 2022
Fruhvirtova comes out on top in a thrilling final
And in easily one of the best matches of this season–or any season, for that matter–Fruhvirtova and Linette traded hellfire from the baseline in brutal conditions. The temperatures soared to 31 degrees and the decibel levels inside the stadium rose to a fever pitch. The fact that both players were still standing at the end of this incredible slugfest in which every kilojoule was consumed, was what you would call commitment to the cause.
It was only symbolic that the match ended with a lung buster of a rally, with Fruhvirtova outmuscling Linette and forcing her experienced opponent to fire her last backhand long.
When asked during the trophy presentation what made the difference, a devastated Linette said, ”Linda played more aggressively at the end I think, and congrats to her and her team. She showed a stronger mentality today.”
Mentality and resilience were on full show as Fruhvirotva recovered from losing the first set 6-4. She also fought back from a break deficit in the third set, reeling off five straight games from 1-4 down. The 17-year-old showed wisdom beyond her years, as she became the youngest WTA titlist since Coco Gauff who was also 17 when she won the Parma crown last season.
“I am in shock. Still struggling to find the right words,” a tearful Fruhvirtova tried to be eloquent and composed on court as she comprehended the biggest accomplishment of her short career. She continued, “It was an unbelievable crowd, never played in such an atmosphere before, I left my heart out during these matches and it is something I will remember forever.”
Fruhvirotva will collect the winner’s check of about $31,000 and 280 ranking points, and consequently break into the Top 100 on Monday.
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