2016 Rioch Open

Vandeweghe victorious in Holland

American ace regains grass court crown at the #RicohOpen

CoCo Vandeweghe battled past #3 seed Kristina Mladenovic – and the dire Dutch bad weather – to lift the Ricoh Open for the second time in three seasons.

The American ace wrestled control with a solid all-round game to fend off the challenge of Mladenovic 7-5 7-5, and make it four victories to maintain her 100% winning record over the French star.

For Mladenovic, who overcame her best friend and reigning Aegon International champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the semi-finals, was seeking her first WTA Tour title.

But the big-serving Californian proved too hot to handle and added ‘S-Hertogenbosch to her string of successes over Mladenovic having triumphed over the Doubles specialist at Dubai, Osaka in Japan and here in Holland en route to clinching the 2014 crown.

With the final broken up by a trio of rain delays, Vandeweghe generally maintained her momentum courtesy of her big weapon – her thunderbolt serving – to outwit Mladenovic with seven aces and saving two of the three points.

The American #6 seed relied on her service games to take the advantage, and reeled off the final four games to claim the title without dropping a set.

“It was actually really difficult with three rain delay stops, so it was really difficult to get back into the match and ready to go.

“I got myself in a bit of a pickle in the second set, but I battled my way out of it, and sometimes the name of the game is just battling through adversity and problems you cause for yourself.”

The 24-year-old is set to compete at next week’s Aegon Classic at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Priory Club where the top seed is former Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska – the current world #3.

Eastbourne-bound Mladenovic, who seriously considered skipping the tournament because of exhaustion following her success at the Doubles with compatriot Caroline Garcia at the French Open, is scheduled to play at next week’s Mallorca Open in Spain.

But she is likely to withdraw as she will be seeking to rest before competing at Wimbledon so will probably skip either Mallorca or the Aegon International at Devonshire Park.

How they reached Ricoh Open final

Mladenovic
1st Round: Yaroslava Shedova  6-4 6-3
2nd Round: Natalia Vikhlyantseva 5-7 6-3 6-4
Quarter-final: Elise Mertens 7-5 6-3
Semi-final: Belinda Bencic 2-6 6-3 6-4

Vandeweghe
1st Round: Indy de Vroome 6-2 6-4
2nd Round: Nao Hibino 6-2 6-3
Quarter-final: Evgeniya Rodina 6-2 6-2
Semi-final: Madison Brengle 6-4 6-2

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