Lauren Davis returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in six years after the American qualifier beat Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6(0) 6-2 in the final of the Hobart International on Saturday.
Davis, who won her maiden title in Auckland in 2017, came through two qualifiers before storming into the final and won the trophy without dropping a set.
Cocciaretto, 21, had downed former Hobart International and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in three sets to reach the final.
Davis saved two set points in the opening set and then breezed through the tiebreak without dropping a point before breaking early in the second to beat her younger opponent.
“I have a lot of emotions going through my body right now. I’m just really happy, really excited. I really had to play my best in order to win today.”
The 29-year-old American, who faces Danka Kovinic in the Australian Open first round, became the fourth qualifier to win the title in Hobart after Germany’s Mona Barthel, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza and Belgian Elise Mertens.
In the Adelaide tune-up tournament, Swiss Belinda Bencic broke Daria Kasatkina seven times in the final to win 6-0 6-2 and claim her eighth career title after both players had received walkovers in the semis.
Tokyo Olympics champion Bencic did not face a single break point in the 67-minute contest while she also won the first eight games in a row.
Bencic is the 12th seed at the Australian Open and begins her campaign against Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova while eighth seed Kasatkina faces Russian compatriot Varvara Gracheva.
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