This weekend served as a kind of redemption experience for two of the tour's top, but troubled, players. Angelique Kerber won her first tournament of the season when she defeated Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 7-6 in the final of the Generali Ladies Linz event. The match, which featured 13 breaks of serve (and this on a very fast surface), got exciting toward the end when Kerber, serving for the title at 40-0, was broken, and then faced two set points from Ivanovic, which she saved. Ivanovic had two set points in the tiebreak, too, but failed to convert them.
The Pliskova sisters, Karolina and Kristyna, won the doubles title--and in doing so--won their first WTA tournament, both as members of other doubles teams and as a sister team. They defeated top seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska 7-6, 6-4.
Kerber became the eighth player to qualify for the WTA championships when she won her quarterfinal match in Linz. She had a wild card at the tournament and was seeded number 1.
In Osaka, 2009 champion Sam Stosur had to work hard to win a second title, but she defeated Eugenie Bouchard 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Bouchard had trouble with her first serve throughout the match, but often got herself out of trouble with her second serve. This was the Canadian's first time to reach a tour final, and it won't be her last.
And here she is again! Kristina Mladenovic, this time playing with Flavia Pennetta (I'm really liking this combination), won the Osaka doubles championhship. Mladenovic and Pennetta beat Stosur and Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-3. Mladenovic has now won seven doubles titles, and this is Pennetta's 15th doubles title.