Astana Open: Alison Van Uytvanck gets the better of Yulia Putintseva to clinch title

Alison Van Uytvanck denied Yulia Putintseva the opportunity to win the title at home, at the Astana Open on Saturday. The Belgian claimed a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win after two hours and 20 minutes in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan.

Putintseva dominated the first set completely even as Van Uytvanck looked to be struggling with nerves. The second seed’s 13 unforced errors helped her opponent claim the lead in the match. However, it didn’t take long for Van Uytvanck to brush aside the jarring score-line that was the opening set.

In the second set, the two players exchanged breaks twice. On both occasions though, it was Putintseva who had to play catch up with Van Uytvanck who went up a break. At the business end of the set, Van Uytvanck broke Putintseva for one last time before serving out the set in the 10th game.

In the deciding set, Putintseva broke Van Uytvanck early on and went up 2-0 in the set. But the world no. 89 effectuated a turnaround. In the seventh game, a second break of Putintseva’s serve helped Van Uytvanck to go up 4-3. In the ninth game, with Putintseva serving to stay in the match, Van Uytvanck brought up her first match point and made good of it with a winner off her backhand.

Astana Open: Alison Van Uytvanck dominates Yulia Putintseva

After her win, Van Uytvanck shared, “She started off unbelievable without making any mistakes. I was trying to be aggressive but it was not working. I had struggles, but I tried to be positive and get myself into the match. Even the second set was tight, but I felt more comfortable coming into net and being more aggressive. I was struggling physically, I kept saying to myself, it’s the last set, push it, push it, push it. I didn’t expect winning today and I just gave everything – I’m so tired but so happy.”

Yulia Putintseva was attempting to win the third title of her career and her second this season, after the Budapest Open. Alison Van Uytvanck was trying to win her fifth career title. Going into the Astana Open final, Van Uytvanck had a 0-4 head-to-head record against Putintseva and a 4-0 record in the WTA finals she’d previously contested. This title marks Van Uytvanck’s first title in almost two years, since the 2019 Tashkent Open.