Cori Gauff has clinched the title in the WTA 500 Mubadala DC Citi Open after defeating Maria Sakkari by 6-2 6-3 in the Sunday's final. It's the most valuable trophy earned by Gauff, who was superior in three WTA 250 tournaments so far in her career.
Gauff wins by the strength and consistency
The American was a slight pre-match favorite related to odds and started it from the front foot, quickly moving into 3-0 lead with a single break advantage. Sakkari was able to respond for it in 5th game, but allowed her opponent to get another two breaks and win the opening set with a comfortable score 6-2. The Greek was on a good way to start the comeback into this match by breaking Gauff in the opening game of second set. This was not enough though, as the current world's number 7 dominated the game since being 0-2 down and won 6 out of 7 following games, including three consecutive breaks. Gauff showed a great performance, dominating her opponent by the physicality and powerful groundstrokes. The American was also much more consistent, as Sakkari was vulnerable in many key points, commiting the bunch of unforced errors. The better display of form during service games was also a key, as Gauff won 72% of her first serve points, comparing to just 46% by Sakkari.
The new champion of Mubadala DC Citi Open stays in the 7th spot of WTA rankings, while Maria Sakkari overtakes Petra Kvitova to climb into 8th place. Gauff gains also in the WTA Race, moving up by 2 places into 7th spot with 405 points gap ahead of the pack chasing the top 8 before the WTA finals. Sakkari advances by 6 places from 19th to 13th, which reflects the bounce back after quite a miserable period in recent months. Jessica Pegula capitalized on her run into semifinals to move up into 3rd place in the WTA list, while Liudmila Samsonova stays in the 18th place. The last year's champion covered some points by reaching out the semis, which helped her to stay in top 20 as for now.