Wang Yafan entered the WTA annals by becoming the latest winner of a women’s singles title at the highest level when she defeated Sofia Kenin in the final of the WTA Mexican Open to win a career-first.
The Chinese world number 65 needed to come back from a set down and a break down in the second to thwart Kenin’s second attempt at a WTA title.
2-0 down in the second set, Wang came back to level the score at 2-2 only to lose her serve yet again. However, as the match grew on, she took more control of the encounter with her consistency and reeled off four games in a row to close the set.
Eventually she triumphed 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win her first ever title.
Yafan had played in her first ever WTA match in 2014, at the Shenzhen Open when she featured in the women’s doubles with Zheng Jie. They defeated wildcards Sun Ziyue and Xu Shilin, before overcoming third seeded Irina Buryachok and Oksana Kalashnikova to move into the semi-finals. They lost to Monica Niculescu and Klára Zakopalová in the semis.
In the 2014 Guangzhou Open, Wang, afforded a wild-card by the organisers for the singles draw, went on to make it to the semi-final with wins over Samantha Stosur, Petra Martić and Zhang Kailin in the tournament.
Apart from this singles title at the Mexican Open, Wang Yafan has also won three doubles titles and has been runner-up three times to go with it. This was her first ever singles final at the WTA level. She has once managed a final at the WTA 125 series.
That first 🏆 feeling!
— WTA (@WTA) March 3, 2019
An elated Wang said:
“This is my first time in Acapulco, and I really like it here. It was an amazing week. This is a good tournament and everything is very nice.”
With this win, Wang will join other Chinese players, Wang Qiang, Zheng Saisai and Zhang Shuai in the top 50 WTA rankings in the next update.