In front of packed stands filled with many Romanian and Japanese supporters, Irina-Camelia Begu took the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells title with a hard-fought 6-3, 6-3 win over Misaki Doi. The Romanian oftentimes used sheer force of will to battle through, as her Japanese opponent was painting the lines with her heavy topspin forehand.
“I’m still shaking,” said Begu. “I’m really tired. It was an unbelievable week with six matches – it was an amazing week, I’m so happy and proud of myself.”
Despite a fantastic pedigree on the WTA circuit, complete with four WTA tour-level singles titles, Begu came into the tournament unseeded. But the veteran blew past her competition all week long, not dropping a set en route to the trophy. This, understandably, led to a bit of fatigue, but Begu stuck to her game plan, fought to get ahead in rallies and battled for every point.
“Mentally, I was really, really, really good,” she said. “I was there every point, even if I wasn’t playing the best. It was really important to keep focused because I was tired. Being focused and aggressive was really good for me today.”
Begu now has a short break before taking the court again for the first round of BNP Paribas Open qualifying on Monday, but for now, she’s soaking in the glory of her championship win.
“First, I will enjoy this trophy and then we will see about tomorrow.”