Siegemund sinks Mladenovic in Stuttgart thriller
Laura Siegemund delighted the home fans to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in a three-set thriller and win her first WTA Premier title at the Stuttgart Open on Sunday.
The German, who was a losing finalist to Angelique Kerber 12 months ago, raced through the first set before being pegged back in the second, winning the decider on a breaker to secure a 6-1 2-6 7-6 (7-5) triumph on the clay.
Mladenovic had overturned a set and a break deficit to end Maria Sharapova's hopes of a comeback win after the Russian's 15-month doping ban on Saturday, while she had also seen off Kerber and Carla Suarez Navarro en route to the final.
But Siegemund had beaten some notable names herself in the form of Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep thanks to her aggressive tactics.
It was that willingness to attack that saw the home favourite race into a 4-0 lead and, although she handed one break back, Siegemund had the first set wrapped up in less than half an hour.
However, Mladenovic - just as she did against Sharapova - found an extra gear in the second set and enjoyed particular success on Siegemund's weaker second serve to break twice and level the match.
The third set proved a more closely-fought battle and Siegemund broke for a 5-4 lead, but in the next game she was hit with a controversial time violation at 15-30 that saw her lose a point and helped Mladenovic break back immediately, much to the disdain of a partisan crowd.
But in the breaker Siegemund, after recovering from 4-1 down, won the match with a splendid drop-shot at the net.