Korneeva stuns senior opposition to win Wiphold international

tennis19 March 2023 12:28| © SuperSport
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Alina Korneeva ©

Junior prodigy Alina Korneeva completed a superb run of form at the WIPHOLD International on Sunday, lifting the trophy at the $60,000 ITF women's tournament in Pretoria.

Korneeva flaunted her remarkable talent by defeating four-time Grand Slam doubles champion Timea Babos of Hungary with a straight-sets 6-3, 7-6 victory in the singles final.

"I'm really happy about this week because it was very good. I played cleverly and I stayed calm," said Korneeva, the Australian Open junior girls champion.

"Today's match was a really tough battle. Timea Babos is a very famous player who has played at a very high level, so I was nervous about the match but I just tried to show my best and that I could do it.

"Maybe she had more pressure because I'm a younger girl, and this helped me with some important points because she made mistakes like double faults, and I'm happy that I was able to stay calm in the second set."

With the world at her feet, 15-year-old Korneeva said she would return home to recover and prepare for her next competition.

"I'm going back to Moscow now to rest a bit and focus on practice, and I think my next tournament will be in April," she said.

"I will also be playing in the junior tournament at the French Open (in May)."

Korneeva said she had enjoyed her stay in South Africa and had thrived in the conditions.

"Everything was really good and I really like this weather. It's not windy or as hot as it was when I played in Australia (in January)," she said.

"I didn't get a chance to see much in South Africa - just my room and the court - but I might come back next year because I hope to play more [elite senior] tournaments."