Elena Rybakina landed her first WTA title with an emphatic win over Patricia Maria Tig in the Bucharest Open final.

The story of qualifier Tig reaching the final against all expectations had provided the tournament's core narrative but she was swept aside 6-2 6-0 by 20-year-old Rybakina in the final.

Romanian Tig does not have a world ranking and was making her first WTA main draw appearance since 2017 after struggling with multiple injuries as well as giving birth to her daughter in the past year.

The 24-year-old beat three seeded players to reach her first final in four years.

But despite playing in front of a home crowd, she found Kazakhstan's Rybakina too much to handle in the title match, losing in an hour and five minutes.

The unseeded Fiona Ferro took Alize Cornet apart in the final set of an all-French final to win her maiden WTA title at the Ladies Open Lausanne.

Ferro held her nerve in her first singles final to beat the defending champion 6-1 2-6 6-1 on Sunday.

Third seed Cornet won the title when the event was staged in Gstaad last year, but there was to be no repeat as the 98th-ranked Ferro denied her compatriot.

The 22-year-old Ferro lost just six points on serve in the first set and broke twice as Cornet struggled to get going.

Cornet responded well in the second, grasping all three break-point opportunities to level the match, but she was unable to maintain the momentum.

Ferro got on a roll to win five games in a row in her first encounter with Cornet to take the title.

Patricia Maria Tig continued her fairy-tale run at the Bucharest Open by cruising into Sunday's final.

The Romanian qualifier does not have a world ranking and is making her first WTA main draw appearance since 2017 after struggling with multiple injuries as well as giving birth to her daughter in the past year.

And Tig's week to remember at her home tournament went on with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 triumph over sixth seed Laura Siegemund.

Tig has only lost one set all week and saved each of the eight break points she faced against Siegemund, winning in 87 minutes.

"It's very, very special to be in the final in Bucharest," said the emotional victor, who has beaten three seeded players to reach her first final in four years.

Tig, 24, will meet either Elena Rybakina or Martina Di Giuseppe in in the showpiece, the second semi-final having been heavily disrupted by rain.

The final of the Ladies Open Lausanne will see Alize Cornet take on Fiona Ferro in an all-French affair after both players won their last-four matches in straight sets.

Ferro saw off Bernarda Pera 6-1 6-4 in Saturday's opening match to reach a first WTA final, her American opponent failing to register a single break of serve.

Number three seed Cornet, who won the event last year when it was played in Gstaad, then got the better of Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-4 in two sets that by contrast produced 11 breaks.

"I think it's going to be hard and beautiful at the same time," Cornet said ahead of the clash with her compatriot. "[Ferro is] the new generation of the French players, and she's such a nice girl.

"She's a bit like my little sister on the tour, and I like her a lot. It's always tough, especially when you play a friend. But in both cases it's going to be beautiful, because either I win or my friend wins."

Tim Henman believes Serena Williams will bounce back from her Wimbledon final defeat to Simona Halep and be in the running for a 24th grand slam title at the US Open.

Williams could offer little resistance to an inspired Halep in the Wimbledon showdown, succumbing to a 6-2 6-2 defeat to the Romanian.

The world number nine was also a beaten finalist at Wimbledon in 2018, before going on to finish as runner up in last year's US Open.

And Henman has no doubt Williams will recover from her defeat to Halep and make it to the latter stages in New York this time around, as she hunts a title which would equal Margaret Court's record haul of 24.

"She's been in three slam finals in the last year so she's still playing at a very high level," Henman told Omnisport.

"It's just a question mark of whether she can equal it and overtake Margaret Court. [The] US Open is not far away and I'm sure she'll be in the mix in New York."

"I was [surprised]," former British number one Henman said when asked about Halep's dominant display against Williams on Centre Court.

"I think when you look at their head to head, they played 10 times and it was 9-1 for Serena coming into that match.

"[Halep] was a huge underdog but the reality of chasing Margaret Court has affected Serena. She didn't play her best tennis and Halep played amazingly well to dominate and win 6-2 6-2."

Halep's win represented her second grand slam triumph, after the 2018 French Open, and Henman has backed the former world number one to step up her level once more now she has another major title to her name.

"She won a slam, she won the French Open before, been number one in the world, she's a great player," Henman said.

"To get that second slam under her belt, I think there's a possibility she could kick on from that."

 

- Tim Henman was talking on behalf of The Open patron HSBC. HSBC are once again offering free golf to children and their friends via the HSBC Hour which are taking place at over 500 clubs in the UK and Ireland. For more information, please visit: https://www.theopen.com/patrons/hsbc

Patricia Maria Tig continued her impressive run at the Bucharest Open on Friday, knocking out Kristyna Pliskova to reach the semi-finals.

Appearing in the main draw of a WTA Tour tournament for the first time since 2017, Romanian Tig continued to enjoy home comforts as she upset her eighth-seeded opponent 6-3 3-6 6-3 after one hour and 49 minutes on court.

Elena Rybakina knocked out second seed Viktoria Kuzmova to also reach the semi-finals, leaving Laura Siegemund - who will face Tig next after defeating Irina-Camelia Begu - as the last seeded player left in contention.

Barbora Krejcikova followed fellow Czech Pliskova in slipping out in the last eight, losing in straight sets to Martina Di Giuseppe in Friday's final match.

At the Ladies Open Lausanne, Alize Cornet rallied impressively from a set down to defeat Natalia Vikhlyantseva and reach the last four.

The third seed - who won the tournament last year when it was held in Gstaad - proclaimed the 4-6 6-1 6-3 victory to be her "best match" of the tournament so far and will next fact Tamara Korpatsch, a winner in three sets against Jil Teichmann, the last remaining Swiss player in the field. 

In the other half of the draw, Fiona Ferro eased past former US Open champion Samantha Stosur, triumphing 6-4 6-2.

Her next opponent will be Bernarda Pera, who came through in a deciding set against Han Xinyun.

Angelique Kerber revealed it was "the right time for a fresh start" after announcing she has parted ways with coach Rainer Schuttler.

Former Australia Open finalist Schuttler only started working with the three-time grand slam champion last November, taking over in the role from Wim Fissette.

However, world number 13 Kerber – who made it through to the final at both Indian Wells and Eastbourne but is yet to win a title in 2019 - posted a message on Twitter to confirm the split from her fellow German.

"Moving forward, it's never easy to change – especially when you work with great people like Rainer," Kerber said.

"But for now, we’ve decided that it's the right time for a fresh start. He has become a friend and I'm thankful for his hard work and dedication in the last months."

Patricia Maria Tig says she is determined to make up for lost time after dethroning Anastasija Sevastova to reach the Bucharest Open quarter-finals on home soil.

Tig is making her first WTA main-draw appearance since 2017 after suffering from injuries and then giving birth to a daughter in the past year.

The 24-year-old qualifier is making her mark in her homeland and took out top seed Sevastova 6-2 7-5 on Thursday, setting up a last-eight encounter with Kristyna Pliskova.

"I missed tennis and now, I'm trying to enjoy every moment of it. I hope more mothers will play, because women need to see that this is not something impossible to do," said Tig.

"I don't feel inferior to any player. I know that if I go on court and give my best, I can win the match too."

Martina Di Giuseppe advanced when Veronika Kudermetova – who had taken the first set 6-2 and was trailing 5-4 in the second – retired, while Aliona Bolsova ended her contest with Barbora Krejcikova at 6-0 3-2 down due to an ankle injury. 

Fourth seed Mihaela Buzarnescu bowed out of the Ladies Open Lausanne with a 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 defeat at the hands of Fiona Ferro.

Samantha Stosur saw off Allie Kiick 6-3 7-5, while Jil Teichmann and Tamara Korpatsch also advanced to the quarter-finals.

Second seed Caroline Garcia was shocked at the Ladies Open Lausanne on Wednesday, downed in straight sets by Bernarda Pera.

Pera, ranked 85th in the world, proved too strong in a 6-2 6-4 victory to set up a quarter-final meeting against Xinyun Han.

The left-hander won the last five games of the first set and never looked back and said afterwards her second serve was key.

"You can say I'm satisfied. I played well," Pera said.

"She's a tough opponent and I'm thrilled to be in the next round. I think she was struggling a lot with my second serve.

"I was able to break her a couple of times and that's what made the difference."

Han beat Liudmila Samsonova 7-5 6-4, while Australian Daria Gavrilova was another big name beaten at the event, Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva toppling the seventh seed 6-3 6-2.

Vikhlyantseva will play third seed Alize Cornet in the last eight, the Frenchwoman coasting to a 6-1 6-1 success against Jasmine Paolini.

Also on Wednesday, Laura Siegemund and Kristyna Pliskova won at the Bucharest Open.

Sixth seed Siegemund defeated Lara Arruabarrena 7-5 6-3 and Pliskova did it even easier, cruising past Ysaline Bonaventure 6-0 6-2.

Martina Di Giuseppe came from behind to topple Varvara Lepchenko 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) and Irina-Camelia Begu beat Kaja Juvan 6-4 6-3, while Viktoria Kuzmova defeated Jaimee Fourlis 7-5 6-2 in the late match.

Julia Goerges and Tatjana Maria exited the Ladies Open Lausanne on Tuesday, but Bucharest Open top seed Anastasija Sevastova rallied through.

The shock result of the day on the WTA Tour came in Switzerland, where top seed Goerges, ranked 25th, trailed 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 3-2 to 18-year-old wildcard Simona Waltert when she retired with a wrist injury.

Swiss teenager Waltert said: "The home crowd was pretty cool and I just loved every minute out there."

Goerges lost to French Open champion Ashleigh Barty in the Birmingham Classic final last month but has otherwise endured a tough year since winning in Auckland in the first tournament of the season.

She was joined in making an early exit in Lausanne by compatriot Maria, the fifth seed thrashed 6-1 6-0 by Allie Kiick.

Alize Cornet and Mihaela Buzarnescu, the other seeds in action, both advanced, the latter playing out an improbably topsy-turvy 1-6 6-1 6-0 win over Stefanie Voegele.

In Romania, defending champion Sevastova also won but only after overcoming a scare.

Sevastova lost the opening set to home hopeful Ana Bogdan, ranked 127th, and was taken to a tie-break in the second, before recovering to triumph.

Veronika Kudermetova and Kristyna Pliskova eased through, but fifth seed Sorana Cirstea lost an all-Romanian clash with Jaqueline Cristian.

Eighth seed Eugenie Bouchard suffered a shock first-round defeat of the Ladies Open Lausanne, letting a match point slip in a three-set defeat to Tamara Korpatsch.

Former Wimbledon finalist Bouchard appeared poised to claim a hard-fought win at 5-4 in the decider but was unable to convert her opportunity to wrap up the match, allowing Korpatsch to complete an unlikely comeback. 

The world number 145 broke to level at 5-5 and, after a love hold, pounced on another poor Bouchard service game to complete a 2-6 6-4 7-5 win in two hours and 36 minutes.

Bouchard has now lost her last seven matches, her last win coming in a run to the quarter-finals at Dubai in February.

Seventh seed Daria Gavrilova avoided a surprise exit as she saw off wild card Ylena In-Albon 7-5 4-6 6-3, with second seed Caroline Garcia enjoying much more serene progress in a 6-2 6-3 defeat of Antonia Lottner.

Qualifiers Anastasia Potapova and Jasmine Paolini also prevailed, along with Fiona Ferro, Han Xinyun and Bernarda Pera.

Meanwhile, at the Bucharest Open, seeds Viktoria Kuzmova, Laura Siegemund and Aliona Bolsova beat Dalila Jakupovic, Anhelina Kalinina and Varvara Flink respectively.

Ysaline Bonaventure and Elena Rybakina also enjoyed victories.

Simona Halep said seeing royalty in the crowd gave her an "extra boost" as she claimed a first Wimbledon title, while Mark Philippoussis was drinking on the job at SW19 on Saturday.

Halep thrashed Serena Williams 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour on Centre Court and was given a royal seal of approval following her majestic performance.

Philippoussis, a two-time major runner-up, was in weekend mode as he sampled an alcoholic beverage while playing in the invitational doubles.

Dylan Alcott was trending on Twitter in Australia after his historic victory at the All England Club.

Catch up on what was happening on the penultimate day of the grass-court grand slam.

 

HALEP GIVEN 'UNFORGETTABLE' ROYAL BOOST 

Halep picked out "Kate" as the one person she would like to see in the Royal Box for her first Wimbledon final.

The 2018 French Open champion got her wish and exchanged words with the Duchess of Cambridge after denying Williams a record-equalling 24th major singles title. 

"It was an honour to play in front of her. I had the chance to meet her after the match. She's very kind, very nice," Halep said after becoming the first Romanian to win a singles title at Wimbledon, with Williams' friend the Duchess of Sussex also in attendance.

"Yeah, it was an extra boost when I saw all of them there, the Royal Family. Winning in this position, it's really nice. It's unforgettable."

 

PIMM'S O'CLOCK FOR PHILIPPOUSSIS

Philippoussis built up a thirst as he rolled back the years on No.1 Court.

The Australian unsuccessfully scurried across to try and keep a point alive in his doubles clash partnering Tommy Haas against Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra.

Philippoussis almost ended up on the front row of the crowd, but stopped himself before grabbing a spectator's Pimm's for an early-evening tipple.

He even posed for a selfie after sipping away casually with his legs crossed, drawing laughter from the crowd in an alternative happy hour.

 

ALCOTT MAKES HISTORY TO COMPLETE 'DYLAN SLAM'

Alcott won the first ever quad wheelchair singles title at SW19 with a 6-0 6-2 thrashing of Brit Andy Lapthorne.

Australian Alcott now holds ever major singles title, a feat christened the 'Dylan Slam' and the top seed was delighted after his triumph on Court 12.

"I'm trending on Twitter at home," he said.

"The AFL is on at the moment, and the NRL. I'm trending with them. People care and watch now. I love that, you know what I mean? So cool."

He added: "My dad said, 'Congratulations on your eighth Grand Slam.' I said, 'That's nine, champion.'"

 

BUBBLES BURST AFTER COSTLY UNFORCED ERROR 

There were no smiles outside a champagne bar when a lady knocked a bottle over earlier in the afternoon.

While not all of the bubbles were lost, it still proved to be a costly unforced error.

Thankfully the bottle did not smash, but the spillage created a racket as the women frantically attempted to limit her losses.

Serena Williams vowed to continue her fight for equality in response to Billie Jean King's comments urging the 23-time grand slam champion to focus on tennis.

Williams was soundly thrashed 6-2 6-2 by an inspired Simona Halep in Saturday's Wimbledon final as the American once again fell short in her bid to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 major singles titles.

King, herself a winner of 12 singles crowns across the 1960s and 70s, earlier suggested Williams' off-court commitments may affect her ability to match Court's tally.

"She's got business, a baby, she's trying to help gender equity, particularly for women of colour, she's actually on the Billie Jean King leadership initiative, she and Venus are both advisors for it," King said.

"[It makes winning a slam] much harder. I would like to see her put everything else aside from that. She's got people working on these things.

"I wish she would just make a commitment for the next year and a half to two years and just say, 'I'm going to absolutely devote what's necessary for my tennis so when I look in the mirror when I'm older that I can go back in my mind and know I gave everything I had and be happy'.

"But if she’s happy doing it this way it's fine. It's not about us."

And when King's comments were put to Williams in her media conference following her defeat to Halep, the 37-year-old responded by saying: "The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I'm in my grave."

Simona Halep was able to lean on encouragement from Roger Federer as she hammered Serena Williams to claim her first Wimbledon title on Saturday.

The Romanian thrashed the seven-time champion 6-2 6-2 in under an hour on Centre Court, picking up a second major crown to go with her French Open win at Roland Garros last year.

Halep was simply unstoppable, committing only three unforced errors – a record for a ladies' singles final – as 23-time grand slam champion Williams had no answer to her combination of energy and accuracy.

The day before the women's final, eight-time Wimbledon winner and Halep's idol Federer overcame Rafael Nadal in his semi-final, before offering his support to the world number seven, saying she should "back herself" and show a "winner mentality".

"I read what he said. I thank him. He is very nice," a smiling Halep told a news conference.

"His words made me happy. Also, I really believe that there is a chance if I listen to him. Because if you listen to him, you get the good things. So I did that."

The Duchess of Cambridge was in attendance in the Royal Box and afterwards spoke with Halep, who was thrilled with the introduction.

"It was an honour to play in front of her. I had the chance to meet her after the match. She's very kind, very nice," Halep added. "It was an extra boost when I saw all of them there, the Royal family. Winning in this position, it's really nice. It's unforgettable."

And Halep, brought up on clay courts in her home country, conceded she doubted if major success on grass would ever come her way.

"I never thought. I'm very honest. I never thought that I'm able to win on grass with all these players that are very tall and serving with a lot of power," she said.

"But this year, as I said every day, I started to feel the game more and more. I started to feel safe on court, which helped me a lot to believe.

"The French Open is better known because another two players [Ilie Nastase and Virginia Ruzici] won it from Romania. It's clay. We grow up on clay. We are more familiar to Roland Garros.

"But Wimbledon, I think it's very special for every country. Here the tennis was born, let's say. It's all the rules, a very prestigious tournament, makes it a little bit different and more special.

"Thinking that it is a possibility to win on grass, it was tough to believe because we don't even have a grass court in Romania.

"But I knew if we are patient and if we work hard, we get the feeling of the grass court. So I did this year and I did it pretty well."

A short time after the pre-match toss of a coin which had been sent to space, pocket rocket Simona Halep blew a kiss into the sky after turning on the after-burners to win her first Wimbledon title.

Thousands packed into Centre Court and around the grounds of the All England Club knowing they may see Serena Williams match Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

Yet it was the phenomenal Halep who made history, becoming the first Romanian to win a singles crown at SW19 by dismantling the legendary American 6-2 6-2.

Halep has adopted what she described as a "chill" approach since claiming her first major triumph at the French Open last year and her ice-cold temperament had Williams feeling the heat on Saturday.

The 27-year-old was the underdog against an opponent who had beaten her nine times in their 10 previous meetings, but declared she was "mentally stronger" ahead of her first Wimbledon final.

Halep stated she had fallen in love with grass during the tournament and her heart must have been throbbing as she swarmed all over a startled Williams, before planting a kiss on the Venus Rosewater Dish.

The amiable Constanta native had lift-off from the start of a one-sided contest after a gold coin that was taken on a mission to the International Space Station last year was flipped.

It was mission accomplished after just 56 minutes of a relentless, out-of-this-world masterclass from Halep in which she made only three unforced errors.

The majestic former world number one was a bundle of energy throughout, dictating rally after rally and drawing gasps from the crowd with her astonishing athleticism and skill.

Williams was beaten in straights sets by Angelique Kerber in the final last year and suffered a huge meltdown as Naomi Osaka brushed her aside in the US Open decider two months later.

The 37-year-old looked like she did not know what had hit her again during and after a regal performance with the Duchess of Cambridge and Williams' friend the Duchess of Sussex watching on from the Royal Box.

She was made to look sluggish by a vibrant Halep, who charged around the hallowed turf at rapid speed and never looked back after racing into a 4-0 lead in only 11 minutes.

Williams had a forlorn look of resignation on her face as the sprightly seventh seed defended as if her life depended on it, winning points she had no right to with incredible court coverage.

"She played out of her mind. It was a little bit deer in headlights for me," Williams said after another chance to match Court's tally passed her by in a flash.

Halep dropped to the grass that she has taken to her heart, while Williams sat in her chair staring into space.

Simona Halep revealed how she shrugged aside her previous trepidation of facing Serena Williams as she hammered the 23-time grand slam champion in Saturday's Wimbledon final.

Prior to their meeting on Centre Court, Halep had won just one of 10 meetings with the American, at the WTA Finals in Singapore five years ago, but she was simply scintillating in swatting aside her rival 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour on this occasion.

In doing so, Halep claimed her maiden title at the All England Club while Williams was left to reflect on a third successive defeat in major finals.

Halep, meanwhile, now has a second crown to add to the French Open she won in 2018, having lost all three of her grand slam finals before that Roland Garros triumph.

"Well, I thought about the match, but I didn't think at all against who I play," Halep told a media conference.

"I [have] always been intimidated a little bit when I faced Serena. She's an inspiration for everyone and the model for everyone.

"Today I decided before the match that I'm going to focus on myself and on the final of a grand slam, not on her. That's why I was able to play my best, to be relaxed, and to be able to be positive and confident against her.

"I decided this morning how I have to play against her. I knew exactly what I have to do to put her in trouble, not letting her make her game.

"When she has time, she plays unbelievable. I played many times against her. I knew how the ball is coming. I knew what she doesn't like that much.

"Today I just went for it like in Singapore. I had that image in my head. I really believed there is the chance to do the same thing. I knew I have to stay there every ball. Otherwise, when she comes back, she's very powerful.

"It's never easy to face a grand slam final. You can get intimidated by the moment. You can get nervous, too nervous.

"I have learned that it's a normal match, not thinking that much about the trophy, just going there and try to be the best as you can. So I did that.

"I said that every time I would play a final of a grand slam, I will do exactly the same thing. So today I did it."

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