WTA Tour wrap: Sharma claims maiden singles title

IT took a come-from-behind effort from Australian Astra Sharma to take out her first WTA singles title at the MUSC Health Women’s Open in Charleston, United States, claiming the three set victory 2-6 7-5 6-1 over top seed Ons Jabeur. Whilst Jabeur got off to a flying start, the Australian did not relent in the one hour and 55-minute encounter, biting back in the second to claim an all-important momentum swing and eventually running home with a hugely one-sided third set victory.

“To come out of this with a win, it’s really unexpected, it’s amazing for me, I have no words,” Sharma said post-match. “It hasn’t really sunk in that I won, I’m so happy.”

The now-world number 120 was sitting at 165th on the world rankings prior to this week, edging closer to her career high 85 from June, 2019. Jabeur also rises two ranks, going from 27th in the world to a career-high 25th.

“There’s so many weeks where you come so close, and it’s rare to finally end a week on a win,” Sharma said. “Two years ago in Bogota, when I was so close, the nerves got the better of me.

“This time, I was a lot more calm and just held my nerve really well. Especially with Ons playing such high-level tennis in the first, I thought I did well to just reset in the second and just keep making her come up with the same shots.”

It was Sharma’s consistency that really paid off, winning 63.5 per cent of her first serve points and 59.4 per cent off her second serve points, all off a 61.9 per cent clip. Whilst Jabeur comparatively won more points overall off her first serve at 66 per cent effectiveness, she could not back it up, and especially in the third set, the Tunisian struggled to retain the same intensity dropping two double faults and only winning three points off her second attempt.

“I thought Ons played an amazing first set,” Sharma said. “I didn’t know, really, what to do. She was wrong-footing me, she was drop-shotting me, she was making me cover a lot of court, and I really couldn’t read what she was doing.

“I think in the second set, I managed to get a little sniff here and there. And by the third set, it was hot, humid, and I think I was a little bit more energetic than her and my intensity was still the same, so I think that was what eventually gave me the lead.”

Whilst Jabeur had held ground at 5-5 in the second set and leading 40-15, Sharma won four points in a row to break the Tunisian and finished off the set in even better fashion, leading to the eventual momentum swing and that all important maiden WTA Tour title.


Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated [1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) 2-6 7-5 6-1

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