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Alexandrova beats Kudermetova in marathon match to defend her Libema Open title


Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova poses with a trophy after winning the women’s singles final match against Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova at the Libema Open tennis tournament in Rosmalen on June 18, 2023. (Photo by Sander Koning / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by SANDER KONING/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

ANP/AFP via Getty Images

DEN BOSCH, Netherlands -- Ekaterina Alexandrova defended her Libema Open title against top seed Veronika Kudermetova after coming back to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in a near three-hour match that also had several rain delays.

It was the first time in the tournament that either player dropped a set and the fourth title for Alexandrova on the WTA tour. She also beat Kudermetova in the semifinals here last year en route to the title.

The No. 4-seeded Alexandrova slumped to her knees when Kudermetova sent the last shot of the game into the net after a match that lasted 2 hours, 52 minutes - not counting two rain delays. The start of the match was also delayed by an hour because of rain.

It was the longest final of the year on the WTA tour.

Kudermetova won her only WTA singles title in 2021 at Charleston and has now lost four finals since. She’s ranked 14th, 12 spots higher than her Billie Jean King Cup teammate Alexandrova.