Italy’s Karin Knapp secured her maiden title on the WTA tour at the Tashkent Open on Saturday, following a straight sets victory over Bojana Jovanovski.
The former Top 40 player needed less than two hours to defeat her opponent 6-2, 7-6(4), and while the second set was a razor-thin one, it was a strong win for Knapp.
“I was up 4-2 in the second set and I was feeling a little stressed after she got back to 4-all,” Knapp said. “But I decided to stay mentally tough and keep going for my strokes, and it worked.”
Knapp worked her way back from several injury problems over the past few years to rise from a low of No. 616 to a high of No. 39 in late 2013. Following her first career final in 2008, she suffered from a heart condition and a knee injury that sidelined her for an extended period of time. She has now managed to add another accomplishment to her list of achievements.
“I can’t say how happy I am right now,” Knapp said. “I’ve had five surgeries, so many months of lay-offs in the last six years, in and out of tennis the last two years due to bad knee problems – but I knew it was possible for me to win a WTA event one day, and I’m so happy I could do it here in Tashkent.
“I was playing well the whole week and was joking with my coaches that we’ll stay another week.”