Palermo: Fiona Ferro of France upset fourth-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the Palermo Ladies Open final on Sunday to win the first tour-level tennis title in five months.
Ferro, who is ranked 53rd in the world, won 6-2, 7-5. She had lost just one set on her way to the final.
“It means a lot especially after a five tough months of practice,” Ferro said. “I was already feeling so happy just to be back competing and be on the court but it’s even nicer to finish the week this way.”
It was Ferro’s second WTA title and the 23-year-old sealed it on her second championship point when Kontaveit hit a return long.
“I was feeling relaxed, I don’t know why but I wasn’t really feeling the pressure,” Ferro said. “It was a tough match … but I had a good intensity. I didn’t miss a lot, I had a lot of winners. I’m really happy to have the trophy.”
Kontaveit has lost five of the six finals she has contested.
It was the first official tennis event — for men or women — since March when the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports across the globe.
“I don’t feel like I did too much wrong, she was just too good today,” Kontaveit said. “I’m just really happy we’re back playing tennis and able to compete.
“At the beginning it was terrifying but also really exciting at the same time.”
There were strict health protocols, including fewer ball kids, a limited number of fans and no post-match handshakes between opponents. Players and officials for the tournament were tested every four days for COVID-19 and one player who tested positive withdrew over the weekend.
Ferro and Kontaveit wore gloves to handle their trophies.