In what was a thoroughly lopsided final, Mihaela Buzarnescu, 30, dismantled Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-0 to lift the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic title in San Jose on Sunday.
It was sheer dominance from the Romanian as she needed just about 20 minutes to take the first 5 games. Sakkari pulled one back to slow the freight train, and that would be all for the Greek. Buzarnescu further stamped her authority as she handed the Greek a bagel in the second set to wrap up a comfortable win in 73 minutes and claim her first WTA title.
“I never thought I would play again and reach this level,” Buzarnescu told an on-court reporter after the match, per the WTA website. “It’s been really amazing … and I’m really happy to be on the poster next year!”
Buzarnescu will now move four places to world No.20. And her countrywoman and world No.1, Simona Halep couldn’t hide her excitement.
So happy for you, Miki! Welcome to the Top 20 😬🤗 @MikiBuzarnescu
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) August 5, 2018
A year ago, she was ranked No.139. At the beginning of 2017, she was outside the top 500, before a purple patch on the ITF circuit helped boost her ranking.
“I started to believe that I could play good when I qualified for the US Open last year,” she said, in a statement on the WTA site
“Everything’s better and better for me. I’ll just try to focus for each tournament and each game as I did before. Maybe people will look differently at me now, but I don’t want to change anything … just think of the good moments, and play.”
The Romanian was seeded fifth for the Californian hard-court event in a star-studded field that included Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka.
Muguruza and Keys withdrew due to injury, Serena Williams suffered a shock loss in the first round, Venus fell to Maria Sakkari, while Azarenka retired midway through her quarterfinal match.