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Elena-Gabriela Ruse claims first WTA title in Hamburg

Mar 26, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Andrea Petkovic of Germany hits a backhand against Sofia Kenin of the United States (not pictured) in the second round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Andrea Petkovic of Germany hits a backhand against Sofia Kenin of the United States (not pictured) in the second round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse defeated Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (6), 6-4 on Sunday to claim her maiden WTA title at the Hamburg European Open in Germany.

Ranked No. 198 in the world, the 23-year-old Ruse saved two set points in the opening set and rallied from a 3-0, double-break deficit in the second set to defeat the local favorite.

She is the lowest-ranked player to win on tour since then-No. 299 Margarita Gasparyan of Russia won at Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 2018. Ruse is also the third qualifier to win a WTA tournament this season, following Clara Tauson of Denmark at Lyon and Liudmila Samsonova of Russia at Berlin.

With Sunday’s clay-court victory, Ruse will break into the Top 150 for the first time. Her previous high was No. 159 last December.

Ruse finished with 34 winners compared to 13 for Petkovic, who was trying to win her first singles title since 2015.

–Field Level Media