The fourth and final day of the 15th edition of Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament 2016 boasts with not only one, but two sensational Championship finals, first one being a third set thriller between recent conqueror of Rafael Nadal and Thomas Berdych, 24 year old Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia Herzegovina and world top 49 tennis ace, Italian stallion Paolo Lorenzi.
The women´s final featured world number 73 from China Wang Qiang, aged 24, against 19 year old Norwegian tennis starlet Melanie Stokke.
The crowd watched intently, the silence from the crowd only broken by rounds of applause, sighs of awe for world class technical tennis skills that were on display.
Having the advantage of, and the experience that comes with being ranked amongst top 100 WTA-tennis players in the world, Qiang started strong and confidently straight away, taking the first set 6-4.
In the second set, it seemed as though Melanie was more comfortable with the match, both serving and returning better. This was reflected also in the score of the second set, being tighter and ending 6-2 to Melanie.
The decisive third set was a championship super tiebreak, with Qiang taking an early lead to 6-2, before Melanie caught up, making fewer unforced errors than earlier in the tiebreak and reaching six points herself. Qiang kept her game strong, which eventually won the super tiebreak 10-6, and therefore, also the the title Women´s Championship Winner Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament 2016.
Final score: 6-2, 4-6, 10-6
Going into the match, both women had similar starting points:
For both Qiang and Melanie, this was the first time competing in Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament. Also, they both had very little experience of playing on grass, as Qiang only started playing on grass last year, today´s final being her third match on grass this year. Melanie started playing on grass this year, and had only previous experience from having competed in a 50 000 dollar tournament in Ilkley just before coming to Liverpool.
Qiang and her coach, Australian tennis legend Peter McNamara expressed after the match what great practice playing in this exhibition tournament has been – as Qiang will within the next days compete on grass in Wimbledon.
We congratulate this year´s Women´s Championship winner, Wang Qiang!