Back-to-back titles for Papamichail
Greek tennis player Despina Papamichail won two consecutive $25,000 tournaments, and has now moved up from 470 to 302 in the WTA rankings.
Papamichail, who previously had a career-high ranking of 317 from 2014, first played the $25,000 clay court event in Getxo, Spain. There, as an unseeded player, she reached the semifinals without dropping a set through three matches. This included a 6-0 6-4 win over top-seeded Nadia Podoroska (world number 258) of Argentina, and a 7-5 6-3 win over sixth-seeded Lina Gjorcheska of Skopje. She then went on to win an additional two matches to take the title.
The 26-year-old from Preveza in Epirus then competed the following week at the $25,000 clay court event in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Once again unseeded, Papamichail won five matches (all in three sets) to take the title. Papamichail beat three seeded opponents throughout the tournament, taking out seventh-seeded Irene Burrillo Escorihuela of Spain in the first round, second-seeded Katharina Hobgarski (world number 208) of Germany in the semifinals, and sixth-seeded Jule Niemeier of Germany in the final. Papamichail also played doubles in Aschaffenburg, reaching the final alongside Burrillo Escorihuela.
With only a handful of ranking points to defend for the rest of the season, it is very possible that Papamichail will continue to rise, and accumulate enough points to compete in qualifying at the Grand Slams next year.