17-year-old Valentina Ivanov has announced herself as a star of the future upsetting top seed Paige Hourigan to win the women's singles title at the New Zealand Tennis Championships in Auckland.
The Sydney based Kiwi has come back from the brink to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a match lasting just over two hours. Ivanov has now completed the set of national titles, winning the Under 12's, Under 14's , Under 16's, Under 18's and now the senior championships.
Finn Tearney has retained his men's singles title with a 6-1, 6-3 drubbing of Alex Klintcharov, continuing on from where he left off in the semi-final against Macsen Sisam. The 28 year old is now based in the UK but studying for a Masters at the University of Durham, but the former Kiwi number one has lost none of his ability as he steamrolled through the final in an hour.
Earlier Ivanov was on the back foot for long periods against Hourigan but staged a rousing fightback.
After losing the first set 6-3 and struggling in the early stages of the second, there was a momentum shift midway through the set as Hourigan became frustrated with a few line calls and appeared to lose her focus. Ivanov was able to break back and serve out the set 6-4 to force a deciding third set.
The national Under 18's champion quickly found herself on the back foot early in the deciding set as Hourigan broke in the second game and held to love to lead 3-0.
But the 17 year old has shown her tenacity this week and again found a way back into the match with a service hold and then a break back to 3-2. Hourigan broke serve again to lead 4-2 but that was as good as it got for the 21 year old.
Ivanov dug deep and got back on serve and then at 5-5 gained the decisive break and served out the match for the biggest win over her young career. She earns a qualifying wildcard into the ASB Classic at the end of the month. Hourigan may also get a qualifying wildcard into the Auckland WTA tournament.
Hourigan has just graduated from Georgia Tech in the US, having had a successful college career. She is 577 on the WTA rankings having won her first ITF title in Portugal in July and after the ASB Classic will embark on a full time pro career.
Ivanov has opted against the College route, instead planning to move out of the junior ranks and play on the pro circuit next year.