Soweto - Hungarian top seed Timea Babos came back from a set down to beat South Africa’s Chanel Simmonds in the final of the Soweto Open women's tournament at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre on Saturday.
“I’m very happy with my win today. It will put my ranking back in the top 100,” said Babos, who won 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-1.
“I came here with the aim of getting into the Wimbledon main draw and I achieved that by getting to the semi-finals.
“It was a really tough match. I think Chanel did a great job and she made me very uncomfortable."
Babos was first to serve in the opening set and she did well to break Simmonds in the second game, building a 3-0 lead.
Simmonds came back to win the fourth game, but dropped the next.
Babos then served for the set, but Simmonds broke back and went on to win a tie-break.
The Hungarian, more than 60 places above the South African in the WTA rankings, came back in the second set, which was the first dropped by Simmonds in the tournament, sending the match to a decisive third set.
Babos held on in a tough battle for points to win the match and the ITF Challenger Tour title.
“I really had to fight back in the second set and that’s where I picked up my rhythm,” Babos said.
“The wind was very uncomfortable today and I was comfortable on one side of the court and not on the other.
“In the third set I did not want to focus on the bad things and remained positive and just focussed on getting more points.
Simmonds was not too discouraged despite her defeat to the top seed.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with losing today, but I’m very happy to have gotten to the final,” said Simmonds.
“I was up a set, but then she played well to come back, and she kind of blew me away because she plays so hard and her balls just flew past me.
“I’m happy for her because she played well.”