No.2 seed Clara Burel came from a set and a break down to defeat Chloe Paquet 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in an all-French final at the Open P2i Angers Arena Loire, lifting her first WTA 125 trophy as a result.

Burel has now won nine of her past 10 matches, including a run to the Monastir semifinals in October followed by a victorious outing in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. The 22-year-old is currently at a career-high of No.60, and will edge closer to a Top 50 debut on Monday.

A two-time WTA 250 runner-up (Lausanne 2021 and Lausanne 2023), Burel had never previously won a title above ITF W60 level. On home soil, she battled through a trio of three-setters in her last three rounds, including a 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Erika Andreeva, last week’s runner-up in the Andorra WTA 125 event.

In the final, Burel was up an early break at 2-1 in the first set. But her form was patchy, and No.186-ranked Paquet took control by winning eight of the next 10 games to lead 6-3, 3-1. Visibly frustrated, Burel was two points from trailing 4-1 four times in the next game.

However, Burel was able to gradually find her range on her backhand and drop shot, inching her way back into the set via a number of multi-deuce tussles. Paquet had more opportunities to extend her lead when she broke again for 4-3 — only to lose eight straight games as she lapsed into error herself.

Though Burel squandered her first opportunity to serve the match out, she sealed her first championship point on the Paquet serve after outdoing her opponent with another drop shot.

Paquet, 29, had been contesting her first WTA 125 final. Her run to the title match featured a 7-5, 6-3 upset of No.1 seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the quarterfinals — Paquet’s fourth career Top 50 victory, and first since defeating Caroline Garcia in the second round of Jurmala 2019. In the semifinals, Paquet backed that up with another upset, taking out No.3 seed Cristina Bucsa 7-6(3), 6-2.

No.6 seed Dayana Yastremska also reached her third WTA 125 semifinal of the season. The Ukrainian made the last four on clay in Reus in May, then captured the Kozerki title in August. In Angers, she triumphed in a rollercoaster 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(9) quarterfinal over McCartney Kessler, saving one match point in the deciding tiebreak against the 24-year-old American.

No.1 seeds Bucsa and Monica Niculescu claimed the doubles title without dropping a set, defeating No.2 seeds Anna Danilina and Alexandra Panova 6-1, 6-3 in the final. The Spanish-Romanian duo had teamed up for the first time this week.

The trophy was former doubles No.11 Niculescu’s first at any level since winning the Limoges WTA 125 in 2021 alongside Vera Zvonareva. Bucsa had captured her first tour-level doubles title in Lyon this February alongside Bibiane Schoofs, and had also previously won two WTA 125 tournaments — Andorra 2022 with Weronika Falkowska and Contrexéville 2023 with Alena Fomina-Klotz.

2023 Angers 125 doubles champions Cristina Bucsa and Monica Niculescu.



Leave a Reply