Chicago will always hold a special place in Petra Martic’s heart. Under sunshine blue skies, on a windy Sunday in the Windy City, she won her first ever WTA title.
The 27-year-old from Croatia entered into the Oracle Challenger Series Chicago event as the number 2 seed and was able to maintain a steady level of play throughout the week. Even as the finicky weather sent play indoors for two days of the tournament, Martic stayed focus on the task at hand. “With all of these changes, playing indoors, outdoors, cold, hot, everything was really an adjustment,” explained Martic. “I think I do this very well, I think that’s what brought me this title.”
Martic eliminated Jamie Loeb, Sesil Karatantcheva, Varvara Lepchenko and Tajana Maria on her march to the finals, all without dropping a single set. In the final match Martic met Mona Barthel of Germany, fresh off her Saturday doubles win. After just an hour and seven minutes, the Croat continued her winning streak with a 64, 61 victory, thus earning the WTA title of her career.
This moment, toward the end of the 2018 season, was a fitting time for Martic to reach this memorable milestone. The current World No. 47 has had quite the year, reaching the finals in Bucharest and the quarterfinals in Indian Wells. “With this title, I achieved [my goal for the year],” said Martic with a smile. “It was to get to the top 40, so I’m pretty happy.”
With an undeniably sincere smile, coupled with a victorious fist pump and wave to her coach, Martic graciously accepted her trophy from the Oracle Challenger Series tournament directors under the blue Chicago early fall sky. After a rainy week, the sun shone bright for Martic in Chicago.