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Samsonova takes title streak to US Open

Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova will head to the US Open on a two-title WTA hot streak after beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-1 6-3 in the Cleveland final.

Big-hitting Samsonova, ranked No. 45 in the world, did not lose a set in five matches in Cleveland. She also claimed the Citi Open crown in Washington three weeks ago and goes into the Open in New York next week with a career-best, 10-match winning streak.

“It’s unbelievable to win two titles in a row for me here in the United States, I didn’t expect it,” Samsonova said. “I like so much to play here because the surface is pretty fast, I love it. It was helping me in tough situations.”

Samsonova joins World No.1 Iga Swiatek (6), Caroline Garcia (3), Simona Halep, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Ons Jabeur, Bernarda Pera and Daria Kasatkina (2 each) as the players who have won multiple singles titles in 2022.

Samsonova is now a perfect 3-0 in WTA singles finals.

By contrast, Sasnovich has reached four singles finals in her career, but is still looking for her first title.

No.36 Sasnovich never held the lead in Saturday’s 72-minute final. Samsonova broke her in all four service games in the opening set.

“I’m a little bit sad right now, but I’m happy for Liuda, who is going to be top 10 soon, I hope,” said Sasnovich, who is 0-4 in career finals. “She is so humble, educated and a kind person. I tried to do my best, but Luda was better today.”

The unseeded Samsonova displayed precision shot-making on back-to-back days, having ended Bernarda Pera’s 13-match win streak in just 53 minutes in the semi-finals. She won 32 of 36 service points against Pera, then converted 31 of 46 against Sasnovich.

Both players were listed as individuals by the WTA, which has suspended recognition of the Russian and Belarus tennis federations following their nations’ invasion of Ukraine.

“We were both without the flag this week, so I want to give very big congratulations to Sasha and her team,” Sasnovich said. “We heard you fans so, so loud through the week. Thank you. I hope to be back next year.”

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