This week at the J&T Banka Prague Open Lucie Safarova won her first match of 2016, actually it was her first singles victory since October 30th and the recovery from a threatening bacterial infection, and the Czech marched all the way to the champion's trophy, beating Samantha Stosur in the final 3-6 6-1 6-4 in front of excited home fans.
Following five straight disappointing losses this season, the 29-year-old lost the first set of her Prague opener against Mariana Duque-Marino, but then got past Lucie Hradecka, Hsieh Su-Wei and third seed Karolina Pliskova without dropping a set.
In the J&T Banka Prague Open final, the first set went into Stosur's hands, as the Australian served it out to love, capitalizing on one early break. The second-seeded Safarova then earned her first break in the second set, albeit helped by Stosur's numerous double faults, but then her top game took center stage and the Czech stormed through the set with commanding groundstrokes and aces. The third set went with serve until the seventh game, when Safarova broke to love and subsequently finished the set, without facing a break point throughout. In the second and third set, Safarova hit 12 of her total 14 aces in the final.
.@LucieSafarova delights the home crowd!
— WTA (@WTA) April 30, 2016
I am so thrilled for Safarova, as just weeks ago she shared an emotional Facebook status about how the long time she had spent away from the courts made her form virtually disappear and she had to build her fitness and muscles from zero. This seventh career singles title is a really emotional and inspiring win for the Czech. Now let's see how she will handle the French Open, where she has runner-up points to defend.