Croatian teen Ana Konjuh admits she gave unseeded American tennis player Lauren Davis the ASB Classic on a plate on Saturday.
Davis, the world No.61, snared her maiden WTA title with a straightforward 6-3 6-1 victory over the 19-year-old Konjuh, who made 47 unforced errors.
Heading into the final as favourite, the eighth-seed couldn’t get her game going against a relentless Davis and struggled to make her big serve count.
By the second set Konjuh was on the ropes and visibly distressed by her on-court carelessness, hanging her head after each lost point.
She was more philosophical following the match, acknowledging Davis had deservedly coasted to victory.
“She played unbelievably today, she was on every ball, getting everything back and I wasn’t on my level,” the world No.47 said.
“My serve wasn’t that great so I think she just took the opportunities I gave her.”
Despite being just 19 years old, Konjuh enters her fourth year on the WTA circuit in 2017 with a US Open quarter-final appearance already under her belt.
Konjuh admitted lifting the Auckland trophy aloft would’ve been particularly pleasing, but said she’ll come back bigger and better in 2018.
Playing in just her second WTA final, she hoped the loss would give her the experience needed to challenge the best.
“It’s another trophy I’d like to have but it was a good experience for me, a second final, so it’s not the worst way to start a season,” Konjuh said.
“It’s one motive to come back next year, maybe do even more.”
Dubai-based Konjuh will travel to Hobart on Sunday before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open.