Spanish qualifier Garbiñe Muguruza capped off the best week of her young career on Saturday, routing Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 6-0 in the final of the Hobart International to capture her first WTA Tour title.
The 20-year-old Spanish hopeful - playing in only her second tournament since sustaining a season-ending ankle injury last summer - did not lose a set and dropped just 22 games in eight qualifying and main-draw matches in Hobart, capital of the Australian island state of Tasmania.
Her opponent, the No. 7 seed and clear favorite in Saturday's final, offered some resistance in the first set but was blown off the court in the second.
Muguruza also played well in her first tournament of the new season, winning two rounds before falling to seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams 6-3, 6-3 last week in the quarterfinals of Auckland.
"I wasn't expecting to win so many matches in my second tournament of the year, but I knew I'd worked hard," Muguruza said after Saturday's championship match.
"When I was at home, I was thinking 'if I go to the tournament, I'll fight as hard as I can.' And that's what I did."
With her victory, Muguruza will move into the top 50 of the world rankings for the first time in her career.
The 31-year-old Zakopalova, meanwhile, lost for the 11th time in 13 appearances in WTA Tour finals.
Muguruza will now look to keep her momentum going at the Australian Open, which gets underway Monday, although she will face an stern test right off the bat against 24th-seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi. EFE