Jovanovski Beats Cohen, Wins First WTA Title
With Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic sitting firmly among the game's elite, who would have thought it would be Bojana Jovanovski would win Serbia's first WTA title of the year? The 20-year-old Belgrade native won her first WTA title, in fact, beating American Julia Cohen for the Baku Cup.
Jovanovski, who was seeded No.5 at the International-level tournament, had some tough times during the week - including coming from a set and a break down to beat countrywoman Aleksandra Krunic in the quarterfinals - but once she got to the title match she was in complete cruise control, winning 10 of 11 games from 2-all in the first set to completely dominate the tenacious Cohen, 63 61.
"I've worked really hard for this," Jovanovski said. "I had two weeks of really hard preparation before this tournament so I was expecting to play well here.
"It's been a tough week, especially because it's so hot here. The quarterfinal was a really, really tough match, so after that everything seemed easier for me. I felt better after that match. I'm really glad I made it through that one.
"I went into today's final with nothing to lose. I was so positive. I was just trying to fight for every point and not thinking about winning or losing, just trying to play the best I can. It feels great to win. I'm so glad I did it."
Before this week, Jovanovski's best WTA results were one semifinal (Sydney in 2011) and three quarterfinals (Kuala Lumpur and College Park in 2011, Copenhagen earlier this year). Now No.97, she has been as high as No.50 in the world.
For Cohen it was a big step, too. Having fallen in qualifying at 34 WTA events in a row, the American finally broke through to her first two WTA main draws this year, and now in her third she made it all the way to her first final.
"It feels really good to get to my first WTA final," Cohen said. "I was a bit tired but she played really well. I hope next time I can win. Obviously I'm so disappointed that I lost, but I have to be happy that I got to the final."
The doubles title went to No.4 seeds Irina Buryachok and Valeria Solovieva, who beat No.3 seeds Eva Birnerova and Alberta Brianti in the final, 63 62. Both Buryachok and the teen-aged Solovieva won their first WTA titles of any kind.
"Before the tournament we didn't know if we even wanted to play," Solovieva said. "But we had a lot of fun and didn't really think about winning - we were just enjoying playing together. We have good communication, we support each other great, and we have a great attitude. Everything worked out and it has been a great week for both of us - we're really excited to win the Baku Cup."