Ash Barty bounced back from a disappointing loss at the Tokyo Olympics. Gold medalist Alexander Zverev carried over his momentum from Tokyo.
Both are in fine form heading into the U.S. Open, which begins a week from Monday in New York.
The top-ranked Barty won her fifth title of the season, taking eight of the last nine games from wild card Jil Teichmann for a 6-3, 6-1 victory in the Western & Southern Open final on Sunday.
Zverev, too, had a relatively easy time in the Cincinnati final, winning the first four games en route to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over seventh-ranked Andrey Rublev.
The match lasted 58 minutes, a welcome result for Zverev after a grueling three-set semi-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday.
“It’s been an awesome week,” Zverev said. “This is an incredible feeling going into New York.”
Barty, who won her first Wimbledon title in July before getting upset in the first round at the Olympics, didn’t drop a set in four Cincinnati matches and was pushed just once to a tiebreaker.
“It’s been an awesome week,” Barty said. “I felt like, each match, I got better and better in most parts of my game. I was just excited to get some matches under my belt in some tough conditions, and I think it put us in good stead going to New York.”
Last year’s Western & Southern Open was moved from Cincinnati to the U.S. Open site at Flushing Meadows because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Teichmann had a surprising run to the final, upsetting second-ranked Naomi Osaka, Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic and fourth-ranked Karolina Pliskova.
“This is where you belong,” Barty said to Teichmann during the postmatch ceremony. “You played exceptional tennis this week.”
Barty, of Australia, broke Teichmann’s serve to take a 5-3 lead in the first set, then won the next six games.
In the second set, the Swiss player received medical attention during a changeover for blisters on her heavily taped right foot.
“I was very happy with my week,” Teichmann said. “Obviously, today, I wanted to win, but Ash was just too good. I felt like I was there in the first set, but then she got a little break and it was gone. She played some good points. Then, in the second set, she stepped up her level. Ash was just too good.”
Zverev committed just five unforced errors while improving to 5-0 in his career against Rublev – all straight-set wins.
On Saturday, another deep run for Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil ended with defeat in the doubles final.
Ottawa’s Dabrowski and Stefani lost in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to Samantha Stosur of Australia and China’s Shuai Zhang in 1 hour 23 minutes in Cincinnati.
It was the third consecutive final appearance for the Canadian and Brazilian duo, who were coming off a doubles victory last week at the National Bank Open in Montreal.
The week before that, Dabrowski, 29, and Stefani, 24, lost in the final of the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose.
With a report from The Canadian Press