Zidansek Is Latest WTA First-Time Singles Titlist

Clara Burel and Tamara Zidansek (photo: Ladies Open Lausanne/Facebook)

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

In a WTA season that has been filled with first-time singles titlists, add Tamara Zidansek to the list that now has grown to 14.

Last Sunday, at the Ladies Open Lausanne, in Switzerland’s fourth-largest city, the No. 1 seed from Slovenia continued her outstanding play on clay with a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory over No. 125 Clara Burel of France to earn her first WTA tour-level singles title. A couple of points from the brink of defeat at 5-all in a second set tie break, Zidansek turned around the final against Burel by garnering the final six games of the match to win.

Following her Lausanne triumph, the 23-year-old Zidansek told the WTA tour website: “I’m really happy I managed to win it, and now I got that under my belt.”

Coupled with her recent semifinal run at Roland Garros, the right-handed-hitting Zidansek has improved her ranking from 93rd to a career-high No. 37 after breaking into the Top 50 for the first time in her career.

Earlier this year, Zidansek reached the finals of the Copa Colsanitas in Bogotá and was a quarterfinalist earlier this month at the Hamburg European Open, both played on clay. She has also won a pair of WTA 125K events in Bol, Croatia, in 2018 and 2019.

“Semifinals of Roland Garros showed me that my game is good enough to compete with the best,” Zidansek said. “I’m really happy with the way I played there, and it just showed that I can be there.”

Naomi Osaka: In the news while off the tennis court

Despite being idle since withdrawing from the French Open last month rather than face the media after winning her first-round match in Paris, World No. 2 Naomi Osaka has kept a very public profile as she readies to compete for Japan at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which begins this weekend.

Last Friday, a three-part Netflix docuseries, Naomi Osaka debuted on the streaming service to mixed reviews. Then, she graced Vogue Hong Kong’s “Women in Sports” digital cover. Now, she’s on the cover of the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Earlier this month, a Naomi Osaka “Role Model” Barbie doll was released and she also won a Best Athlete in Women’s Sports ESPY award presented by ESPN.

Osaka will be seeded second in the Olympic Tennis Tournament women’s singles draw.

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