23/06/2019 – Niculescu lived better with her chances in the third set.
|ILKLEY TROPHY (100 000 USD, GRASS), SINGLES, FINAL|
|Monica Niculescu (Romanian)-Tímea Babos (Hungarian) 6:2, 4:6, 6:3|
The match lasted 2 hour and 10 minutes.
The extremely routine Romanian player started the final very well: in the 38-minute first set she won her opponent’s serve to 0 and then to 40, led 4:0. After that, Timi saved her serve from a break point in the fifth game, then also hold her service in the seventh game. But Niculescu finally closed the set smoothly, bringing her serve to 15.
In the first game of the 52-minute second set, Timi won her serve from 15-40, and then, till 3:2, both players broke twice. Until 5:4, there was no new turn. At that time, the Hungarian player pulled up to 40-0 as a receiver and then finished the second act with the fourth chance.
Unfortunately, Niculescu’s will prevailed in the final set. Although the Romanian player lost her first break, but after 1:1 she won her opponent’s serve to 15 again. And there was no way back for Timi.
Niculescu did not give a chance to her opponent behind her serves. After 2:4, the Hungarian player still brought her game from 0-40, but in the ninth game she won only one rally at her own game.