Bernarda Pera stuns Anett Kontaveit to win back-to-back titles

Bernada Pera

American Bernarda Pera pulled off a stunning upset of top seed and World No 2 Anett Kontaveit with 6-2 6-4 win in the final of the Hamburg European Open on Saturday.

Pera won her first career title last week in Budapest, and it seems she has caught the winning bug as she went all the way in Hamburg.

She has now won 24 straight sets in winning 12 matches in a row ahead of the return her adopted nation for the US Open swing.

Pera dedicated her victory to the memory of Kristijan Schneider, her former coach who sadly lost his battle with cancer in April.

The Croatian-born US player had to get through qualifying before going all the way in Budapest and kicked off her Hamburg bid by defeating defending champion Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-0, 6-4.

Kontaveit is the highest-ranked opponent that Pera has defeated and is just her second top ten win.

The outcome was a complete 180 from their previous encounter, which took place at Wimbledon last month.

In the first round at SW19, Pera served for the first set but eventaully lost 7-5, 6-1.

However, in the rerun in Hamburg, the left-hander was in complete control as she claimed her second career title on Saturday.

She opened up a lead of 6-2, 5-2 by breaking Kontaveit’s serve four times in her first eight service games. During that span, she only encountered (and saved) one break point herself.

Although she initially failed to serve out the match, Pera succeeded on her second attempt.

After dropping the first point of the tenth game, she won the next four to clinch the victory.

The 27-year-old joins Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Beatriz Haddad Maia, and the now-retired Ashleigh Barty as the sixth player to win multiple WTA Tour singles championships in the 2022 season.

Pera, who was ranked No 130 when she arrived in Budapest last week, is expected to reach a new career high on the WTA Rankings on Monday, moving up into the Top 60 and surpassing her previous best ranking of world No 59.

She is also attracting interest as a potential outside shot for US Open champion.