Former US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer produced a superb fightback to beat Poland’s Magda Linette 4-6 6-3 6-3 and win the Japan Women’s Open on Sunday.
The Belgian dug herself out of a hole in Tokyo as she claimed her first title of the year and fourth of her career, closing out the final in a shade under two hours and 10 minutes.
Linette’s bid for a first WTA Tour title began brightly, but her serve buckled under increasing pressure from Wickmayer in the second set and she failed to seriously trouble the Belgian in the decider.
Wickmayer, who reached the 2009 US Open finals, had not won a tournament since 2010 but her form in Tokyo belied her world ranking of 86. Linette came into the match ranked two places higher than her opponent.
Neither player was seeded, the hardcourt tournament quickly losing its top players to upset defeats while sentimental favourite Kimiko Date-Krumm, who turns 45 this month, bowed out in the second round.
Wickmayer earlier defeated Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2 in the semi-finals to halt a third straight Australian success at the tournament.
Samantha Stosur had won the tournament in 2013 and 14 but did not elect to attempt to defend her title in 2015.