LEXINGTON, Ky. – Wearing a pandemic-appropriate mask, Jennifer Brady walked over to accept the first WTA trophy of her career, making sure to apply hand sanitizer before raising the new hardware overhead.
Brady claimed her initial tour-level title at the Top Seed Open on Sunday, overcoming some shaky serving and using a five-game run to seize control for a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Jil Teichmann in the final.
It was the the first professional tennis event in the United States since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and no spectators were allowed.
The unusual circumstances did not bother Brady at all.
“It didn't take away anything. It didn't take away (from) the win for me,” said the 25-year-old American, who is based in Florida and began the week ranked 49th. “I was just super happy to stand there with the trophy.”
She did not drop a set throughout the hard-court tournament and ceded only 24 games in all. It was a perfect way to prepare for the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31 in New York.
And now Brady, who began the season needing to qualify to get into WTA events, is in line to be seeded for the U.S. Open.
“Definitely would not have expected that if you told me that earlier this year — or that I would win a WTA title,” said Brady, who was appearing in her first final.