Unseeded Melanie South of Great Britain overcame a strong challenge from Yang Chen of China before coasting to a 6-4, 6-4 victory to win the Mother's Recipe-ITF USD 10,000 Women's Futures Tennis tournament of Shivaji Park Gymkhana in Mumbai on Saturday.
17-year-old South beat Chen in straight sets, but the Chinese did not go down in disgrace. Chen forced South to earn her points the hard way and made the final a quality contest.
The first break of the match came when Chen scored a forehand winner to go 4-2 up in the first set. But the advantage was short lived, as South won the next four games to bag the first set 6-4.
In the second set, the two player traded a break each in the first two games for 1-1. South then made the breakthrough in the fifth game to lead 3-2 in second set. From then on Chen was always playing against the tide.
The eventual champion failed to capitalise on three match points before sealing the fate of the match.
The victory gave South 16 international ranking points and USD 1000. The second leg will be held in New Delhi.
Result: Women singles
Final: Melanie South (GBR) bt Yan Chong Chen (China) 6-4, 6-4.
Photograph: Deepak Salvi