Needing just one game over the minimum, #5 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu earned her first career WTA title by defeating Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-0 in the final of the 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Sunday afternoon in San José. It was the fewest games needed to decide a final in the tournament’s 41 year history.
Buzarnescu started quickly, winning the first three games while dropping just five points. As she has all week, Sakkari began to rally back, forcing the next two games to deuce, although Buzarnescu won them both, extending her lead to 5-0. After a lengthy 14 point service hold by Sakkari, the momentum looked to be up in the air, but Buzarnescu was able to hold serve in a long, 16 point game to take the first set. In the second set, Sakkari was held to 15 of 44 points and only twice had a game point.
Hard work paid off for Buzarnescu, whose 53 matches played are more than anyone on the WTA Tour in 2018. She was forced to work hard through the week, playing three matches that went three sets including her semifinal yesterday afternoon against #4 Elise Mertens. She also played three doubles matches on the week as part of the #2 seed with Heather Watson, advancing into the semifinal before losing in a super tiebreaker last night.
Coming into 2018, Buzarnescu had only won 3 WTA matches in tournaments from 2007-2017. With the win Sunday, she now has won 35 this year.