WTA Shenzhen: Katerina Siniakova upsets Alison Riske for first career title

WTA Shenzhen: Katerina Siniakova upsets Alison Riske for first career title

The Czech lifted her first piece of silverware with a solid performance over the American.

John Lupo

Katerina Siniakova defeated eighth seed Alison Riske 6-3, 6-4 to win her first career championship at the Shenzhen Open. Riske lost in the final for the second straight year, having fallen to Agnieszka Radwanska in 2016.

Siniakova wins first set behind streak of four games in a row

The match started out with matching love holds before the first break was achieved by Riske, taking a 2-1 lead. Trying to consolidate her advantage, she fell behind 15-40. The American was able to save one break point, but not the second and Siniakova was back on serve. 

The key game was the next one as the 52nd-ranked player in the world fell behind 0-40. She eventually fought off the Riske challenge, saving those three break points and she used her momentum to break Riske to 15 for a 4-2 lead. After fighting off one more break point in her next service game, Siniakova held to love to take the opening set.

Siniakova sprints out to big lead, holds off late Riske challenge to claim first title

As with the first set, each player held, this time to 30 before Riske was again broken in the third game, Siniakova again holding a 2-1 lead. She held to 15, broke to 15 and suddenly the Czech was ahead 4-1 and the finish line seemed to be in sight.

Riske would mount a charge, breaking Siniakova in the sixth game before a hold put her closer at 4-3. She had a chance to complete the comeback, holding a break point, but Siniakova did well to fight it off and hold. She came to within the precipice of her first title, getting to deuce on Riske's serve, but the American stayed in it. 

Siniakova stepped to the line and built a 40-15 advantage. The first championship point was saved by Riske, but the Czech converted her second and captured her first career WTA Tour championship.