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Samsonova beats Zheng to win Tokyo, third title in four tournaments

Liudmila Samsonova has now won 18 of her last 19 matches on the WTA Tour and is projected to climb to a career-best No 23 in the world rankings on Monday

Liudmila Samsonova, Tokyo 2022 Liudmila Samsonova, Tokyo 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova won the Tokyo Open title by beating Chinese teen Qinwen Zheng 7-5, 7-5 at the Ariake Coliseum and Ariake Tennis Forest Park on Sunday.

The world No 30 continued her hot streak, winning her third title in her last four tournaments after winning in Washington and Cleveland in August. She also reached the fourth round at the US Open, going down to Ajla Tomljanovic. That means, Samsonova has now won 18 of her latest 19 matches.

In previous matches this week in Tokyo, Samsonova defeated eighth seeded Kazakh Elena Rybakina(6-2, 6-4), China’s Xinyu Wang (7-6 (5), 6-3), Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, the No 3 seed (6-4, 6-2) and China’s Shuai Zhang (7-6 (4), 6-2.

As a result of her win, Samsonova will climb to her career-best WTA ranking of No 23 on Monday.

Zheng was playing her in first WTA Tour singles final after wins over Japan’s Misaki Doi (6-2, 6-4), top seeded Spaniard Paula Badosa (6-3, 6-2), America’s Claire Liu (6-4, 7-5) and Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, the No 4 seed (5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (3)). With her runner-up finish, Zheng will jump from No 36 to No 28 in Monday’s world rankings.

The Toray Pan Pacific Open tournament was being held for the first time since 2019 due to the global pandemic.

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