Maryna Zanevska (Belgium) is the winner of the first edition of BNP Paribas Poland Open. She defeated Kristina Kucova 6:4, 7:6(4) in the final.
Up until this point the Belgian and the Slovakian had met five times on court. Only in their first meeting, nine years ago, Kucova won. What’s interesting, all three of their matches were played in Grand Slam qualifying, all in three sets and all in just above two hours were won by Zanevska.
The Slovakian broke this year’s WTA record a few days ago, when she beat Ekaterine Gorgodze in 3 hours and 55 minutes. Four matches took her nine hours and three minutes, much longer than her rival. Zanevska needed just 3h23, which explains Kucova’s exhaustion and big trouble to keep the 3:0 lead in both sets.
Each day the crowd was louder and more international. A few Slovakians chanted “Kiki! Kiki!”. “Pojd” was also in use, which is equivalent to Iga Świątek’s “Jazda!”. When their favourite didn’t do well, they shouted “Ne vadi!”.
Slovakian support wasn’t left with no response. Fans who supported her in Polish, Zanevska was able to understand, since she was born and raised in Odessa. Short “Allez!” could also be heard when the Belgian started losing focus at the beginning of both sets.
The final lasted one hour and 51 minutes. Kucova fought hard and will move up by 30 spots in the rankings. Since the quarterfinals the race was not only for the 280 points and 29 200 USD but also for the first career title for all eight players. That would explain the nervousness that assisted Zanevska near the end of the match. The Belgian will move up by 51 spots and will be world number 114 in the WTA rankings.