Marina Bassols Ribera Defeats Zeynep Sonmez to Win First Career WTA Title at Zavarovalnica Sava Ljubljana

Marina Bassols Ribera has claimed her first WTA title…

The 23-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Zeynep Sonmez 6-0, 7-6 (2) in a 1-hour, 20-minute final to lift the first WTA 125 trophy of her career at the Zavarovalnica Sava Ljubljana.

Marina Bassols Ribera,Bassols Ribera was contesting the second WTA 125 final of the season, having been runner-up to Mayar Sherif in Valencia in June.

In Ljubljana, No.132-ranked Bassols Ribera was two points from defeat in the first round, but managed to survive the challenge of 18-year-old Lola Radivojevic 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(5).

Thereafter, Bassols Ribera motored through the rest of the draw without losing another set, scoring wins over Sapfo Sakellaridi, Lucija Ciric Bagaric, Miriam Bulgaru and finally Sonmez.

However, she was made to work hard to quell an attempted fightback from Sonmez after a one-sided opening set. The 21-year-old has had a career-best season so far, rising from No.345 at the end of 2022 to her current No.177. She made her tour-level debut after qualifying in June and, playing her first WTA 125 final, She was bidding to take home the biggest title by a Turkish woman since Cagla Buyukakcay won Istanbul 2016.

Sonmez made a nervy start, winning just 10 points and leaking backhand errors throughout a 21-minute first set. A half-chance to get a foothold in the match went begging at the start of the second as she squandered four break poins to level at 2-2 from 2-0 down, and instead Bassols Ribera leapt out to a 4-1 lead.

Only at this point did Sonmez start swinging freely, winning four straight games to lead 5-4. Bassols Ribera served for the match at 6-5, but Sonmez came up with a pair of spectacular backhands down the line to save a pair of championship points and force the tiebreak.

But it was Bassols Ribera, who had been rock-solid off the ground throughout, who showed more focus to dominate the closing passage of play. A smart counter-drop brought up her third championship point, and she converted as another Sonmez backhand went long.

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