TEENAGE American Coco Gauff and rising Spaniard Paula Badosa have claimed titles on the WTA Tour following their respective finals wins in Parma and Belgrade. The 17-year-old Gauff toppled sixth seed Wang Qiang in straight sets, 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes to grab her second career title, while Badosa won courtesy of an early retirement from Croatian Ana Konjuh after both players did the double due to earlier rain delays in the tournament.
Looking at the Emilia-Romagna Open, Gauff proved too good for her more experienced opponent, winning 76.5 per cent and 52.5 per cent of her first and second serve points off a 61.8 per cent clip. Wang only broke even with her successful service points, and whilst she only served the one double fault – to Gauff’s six – she was broken four times and was unable to force a break against Gauff from four opportunities.
“It definitely means a lot, especially on clay, which is not really a surface I feel like people associate with me,” Gauff said post-match.
“I always liked [clay], but I always fall on it, I always get dirty! I have good results on it, so it’s not about my performance. It’s just that clay shows you a little extra love than the other surfaces do.”
Gauff said she knew it would be tough against an aggressive Wang who would not back down from long rallies, and she was pleased she was able to come away from the game with the win and subsequent title.
“I think I did well in engaging every point and pushing [Wang] back,” Gauff said. “I know she normally likes to be aggressive. One of the main goals for me was just to be able to push her back and set up the shots I like to hit.”
Meanwhile in Belgrade, Badosa spent just one hour and 46 minutes on court despite playing both her semi and final on the same day. The Spaniard defeated Viktoriya Tomova in straight sets 6-1 6-2 in 63 minutes, whilst then going on to topple Konjuh 6-2 2-0 after the Croatian had to retire early in the second set. That came after Konjuh struggled past Maria Camila Osorio Serrano in two tiebreakers, 7-6 7-6.
“I’m really, really happy I could win my first WTA title,” Badosa said post-match. “I’ve been chasing this since a long time, so finally I have it here with me. “I’m super happy, and I’m super proud of myself. “All this week, I think I played at a very good level and I was feeling quite well.
“Today wasn’t an easy day, not even in the morning. “In the afternoon, I think I played an amazing first set, I think I played at a very good level. Ana’s an amazing player, I’m so sorry for her we have to finish like this, but the part that I was playing, I think it was quite good so I’m happy with the level.”
EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN FINAL RESULT:
 Coco Gauff (USA) defeated  Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-1 6-3
SERBIA LADIES OPEN FINAL RESULT:
 Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-2 2-0 RET
SERBIA LADIES OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULT:
 Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 6-1 6-2
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 7-6 7-6
Picture credit: Marta Magni/MEF Tennis