Canada's Bianca Andreescu wins 1st WTA title
18-year-old beats American Jessica Pegula at Oracle Challenger
Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu earned her first WTA tournament title on Sunday, defeating American Jessica Pegula 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., rebounded from a disastrous first set with a tightly contested second and a dominant third set that saw her break Pegula three times.
Andreescu, the No. 6 seed at the tournament, converted on 5-of-7 break points and saved 3 of 8.
Pegula, ranked No. 113, was the seventh seed at the tournament.
That title-winning moment. The PERFECT way to cap off a life-changing January for <a href="https://twitter.com/Bandreescu_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bandreescu_</a>.<br><br>(🎥: <a href="https://twitter.com/carsonbranstine?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@carsonbranstine</a>) <a href="https://t.co/2V37kagXmI">pic.twitter.com/2V37kagXmI</a>—@TennisCanada
Later Sunday, Pickering, Ont., native Brayden Schnur lost to top-seeded American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the men's final.
Andreescu came into the 125K series event at No. 106 in the WTA rankings. She began the year at No. 152.
WATCH | Who is Bianca Andreescu?
After struggling through a first set that lasted just 27 minutes, Andreescu broke Pegula for the first time to go up 3-2 in the second. The American replied with a break of her own to tie it at 4-all but Andreescu bounced right back with another break and held serve to set up the third and deciding set.
The two traded breaks over the first three games of the third set before Andreescu took a 4-1 lead with her third break and cruised to victory from there.
Andreescu, who doesn't turn 19 until June, is 16-2 since the new tennis season began on Dec. 28.
She started 2019 with a finals appearance at the ASB Classic in New Zealand — marking her first time playing in a championship match at a WTA event — then went through three rounds of qualifying for the Australian Open before winning her first-round matchup. She bowed out with a second-round loss against No. 13 seed Anastaija Sevastova.
Andreescu dispatched third-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., in the quarterfinals this week before dropping second-seeded Tatjana Maria of Germany in a three-set semifinal that lasted nearly three hours on Saturday.