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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday June 20, 2021

 
Liudmila Samsonova

Liudmila Samsonova came through five Top-50 opponents to capture her maiden title in Birmingham.

Photo Source: Getty

Before this week Liudmila Samsonova had never won a main draw match on grass. After this week, and an impressive maiden title run from qualifying, she says it’s her favorite surface.

Tennis Express

“It’s all incredible for me, it’s so new,” Samsonova said after her 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over No.5-seeded Belinda Bencic on Sunday at the Bett1 Open in Berlin.

To qualify for the main draw, Samsonova had to battle back from 4-1 down in the third set to defeat Ana Konjuh.

The World No.105 ripped through five Top-50 opponents—Marketa Vondrousova, Veronika Kudermetova, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka and Bencic—to become the WTA Tour’s 10th maiden title winner of 2021, and second of the day (along with Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who won Birmingham).


Her reward for an excellent week on the grass? A wild card to Wimbledon, where she will play the main draw for the first time.

“They just told me that I have the wild card for main draw, so I’m so happy,” she said.

Samsonova powered 14 aces (25 aces in her final two rounds, 43 for the tournament) past Bencic and saved five of seven break points. She cited her serve as one of the biggest improvements she has made this season.

“From December I started to work on it again, with a very good person of technique, so that’s the secret, we worked very good on serve,” she said. “There were a lot of things I can say, but details.”

She is projected to rise to a career-high ranking of 63 in Monday’s WTA rankings.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “I didn’t expect it. I dream it, but it’s amazing.”

 

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