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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Dayana Yastremska stuns Wang Qiang to claim Hong Kong title as Caroline Garcia downs Karolina Pliskova to win Tianjin final

The 16th-ranked Garcia battled through a narrow first set before streaking away in the second to beat the Czech top seed 7-6, 6-3

Caroline Garcia won the Tianjin Open - the sixth title of her career - with victory over Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final. AFP
Caroline Garcia won the Tianjin Open - the sixth title of her career - with victory over Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final. AFP

Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska completed a remarkable week at the Hong Kong Open by thrashing Wang Qiang in the final for her first WTA title, after Caroline Garcia defeated Karolina Pliskova to claim the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

Chinese No 1 Wang has been in sparkling form in recent weeks, reaching the semi-finals in Hiroshima, Wuhan and Beijing and winning the title in Guangzhou, and she was at it again in Hong Kong - taking out top seed Elina Svitolina and fourth seed Garbine Muguruza en route to the final.

However, the 26-year-old appeared to run out of steam against world No 102 Yastremska, who ran away with a 6-2, 6-1 victory in 65 minutes.

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"Yesterday, I felt very confident that I could win the title, but in the morning, I woke up and I felt a bit too nervous," Yastremska, 18, told a news conference after winning the title.

"I trusted myself that I can win, but I didn’t really get deep into those thoughts because I knew that when I go on court, I would forget about everything and just play point by point."

There were certainly no sign of nerves from Yastremska, whose power and aggression paid off after hitting 33 winners as Wang converted just one of nine break points.

Yastremska clinched the match after a booming serve was returned long by Wang, sparking celebrations from the teenager and her team.

"The last game, I don’t even remember," Yastremska said. "It was the most tough game during all the tournament, because in your mind, you’re visualizing the way you’re winning, you have this picture in your mind that you want."

"But at the same time, you have to stay right now, right here, playing this point, trying to be without any thoughts which can break your mind and your focus for the match point," Yastremska added. "That was the most difficult part for me."

In Sunday's earlier final, second seed Garcia edged a tight opening set against top seed Pliskova before earning a 7-6, 6-3 victory in Tianjin as the Frenchwoman clinched her first title of the season.

Garcia, 24, fought back from 1-5 down in the first set tiebreak to take the lead after more than an hour.

That comeback proved the catalyst for world No 16 Garcia, who stormed into a 5-0 lead in the second set before sealing victory with her first match point.

"It’s very nice for me to win a title again, because the emotion and the feeling after the match point is something very special and very difficult to describe," Garcia told a news conference. "That’s what you’re working on all year long to get, this trophy in your hand and those emotions."