In an hour and 46 minutes, Liudmila Samsonova defeated Kaia Kanepi to win the Citi Open championship. Samsonova has already won both finals she has played in thus far in her career, with her first trophy appearing in 2021.
While Kanepi had a strong start and won the first set, Samsonova controlled the second and third sets. Samsonova proved essential in the match by surviving a break point that would have given the sixth-seeded Estonian player a set and a break lead in the second set. From that moment on, Samsonova never looked back.
In fact, Kanepi didn’t encounter a break point again until after that game (the sixth game of the second set). Samsonova made effective use of it before securing the set. Samsonova didn’t have a break point in the deciding set, but she eventually converted the one she did get on Kanepi’s serve.
Liudmila Samsonova wins the Citi Open.
Samsonova won 81% of the points she received on her first serve, compared to Kanepi’s 77%, and 68% of the points she received on her second serve, compared to the latter’s 54%. Samsonova outperformed her opponent in terms of both winners and unforced errors, recording 27 winners to the 37-year-16, old’s and 18 unforced errors to her 19.
For the game, the 23-year-old scored 78 points, 13 more than Kanepi’s 65. The winner commented, “I think that was the hardest match of the week because Kaia was playing incredible,” following the contest. She was providing excellent service. On the way back, I had some difficulty figuring out the answer.
Today’s mental game was challenging, and I’m relieved to have solved it. With her victory in the Citi Open final, Liudmila Samsonova has now defeated Kaia Kanepi in both of their meetings. The latter, meanwhile, is still trying to break a near-ten-year title drought; her most recent victory was in 2013. Image Source: Citi Open Twitter