China's Li Na secured a hard-fought 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 victory over Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic on Saturday to capture the inaugural Shenzhen Open.
The world No.7 and the competition's top seed won her seventh WTA title despite serving 10 double-faults compared to none from her fifth-seeded opponent.
Klara Zakopalova, who had beaten Li Na in two out of their last three meetings, at first didn't look all that comfortable playing in only her third career WTA final. Li won the opening set 6-3 and looked poised to make it an early afternoon.
But the second set saw Li lose timing on her shots and that allowed Zakopalova to easily run away with the set 6-1.
The deciding set proved to be much closer even though Li found her game early on to open up a 5-2 lead. Zakopalova closed the gap to 5-all and seemed ready to send the match into a final tiebreak. But Li lifted her game at the right time to finally close out her opponent at the match 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.
"Klara played well and I managed my mood swings well, and I'm glad I made it," Li said as she continued her build-up to the opening grand slam event of the year, the Australian Open which starts in Melbourne on January 14.
"Winning the title certainly helps boost my confidence for the coming weeks, but it also depends on how I'm playing on the courts. Confidence itself won't guarantee a win.
But I'm very happy to win and the Shenzhen Open was a great tournament - I believe it will get even better in future years."
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