Bogota - Fifth seed Irina Falconi captured her first WTA title in historic fashion, becoming the first American woman to win the Claro Open Colsanitas as she recovered from a break down in the final set to defeat Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
"I'm so happy, and I even started to cry a little bit," Falconi told
press after the match. "I was very overwhelmed with emotions. Just
trying to take in every moment and enjoy it."
According to the WTA Tour website, playing in her first career WTA final, Falconi had already earned the biggest win over the week when she took out No 4 seed Lara Arruabarrena
in the semi-finals, and looked on course for a seamless victory when she
took the first set. But Soler-Espinosa, who had only won one WTA main
draw match before Bogota, wouldn't go down without a fight, leveling the
match with a 6-2 set of her own and engineering an early break in the
Six points from defeat down 3-4, 0-30, Falconi earned the break back
and broke serve to win the title on her third championship point.
Starting the week at No 92, Falconi is tentatively set to return to
the Top 70, close to her career-high ranking of No 64. The
Ecuadorian-American also dedicated her win to her birthplace, which had
just suffered an earthquake on Sunday.
"My father is there right now, actually. He wanted to come here and
watch me play, but obviously with the earthquake travel became
complicated. First of all, thank god all my family is fine. But I know
it's a very difficult situation for so many people over there.
"The last 24 hours we've just been praying constantly for all the
families and the children - I knew there's a lot of people who've been
killed already. We're sending over a lot of prayers."