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Diyas downs Kato in Tokyo for first WTA title

Kazakhstan qualifier Zarina Diyas beats Miyu Kato in straight sets to win Japan Women's Open title.


TOKYO, Japan - Zarina Diyas claimed her first WTA title on Sunday, beating home favorite Miyu Kato 6-2, 7-5 to take the Japan Women's Open crown in Tokyo.

The 23-year-old has displayed impressive form all week, accounting for second seed Zhang Shuai and eighth seed - and compatriot - Yulia Putintseva - before beating holder Christina McHale in Saturday's semifinal.

In a final made up of two qualifiers, Diyas broke Kato in the first game before a double fault from the home player at 4-2 allowed the Kazakhstani to serve out for the set.

The second set stayed on serve until the fifth game, as Diyas again moved ahead, only for Kato - the first Japanese player to reach the final of this event since Kimiko Date-Krumm, who lost to Tamarine Tanasugarn in 2010 - to produce her first break of the final to tie the set at 3-3.

Diyas remained calm, however, breaking again in the 11th game of the set to allow her to see out a service game and secure the title.

Her success avenged her disappointment in Japan three years ago, when she lost the final to Samantha Stosur in Osaka, the event's previous home.


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