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2017 US Open Spotlight: Carina Witthoeft

August 31, 2016 - Carina Witthoeft in action against Yulia Putintseva during the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.

Carina Witthoeft capped her best-ever season by picking up her first career WTA title at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open on Sunday.

The young German dropped just two sets in lifting the trophy, and in the process, she climbed 22 places in the rankings to No. 51. 

Here's more on the first-time champion, who looks primed to soar even higher in 2018.

The Carina Witthoeft File

Age: 22
Height: 5-9
Residence: Hamburg, Germany
Current Rank: 51
Career-High Rank: 49 (August 2015) 
Best US Open Finish: 3R (2016)

The Baseline

- Unseeded Witthoeft defeated No. 8 seed Varvara Lepchenko in three sets in the opening round before toppling Evgeniya Rodina in straight sets in Round 2. She dropped just three games in dispatching second-seeded Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals before ousting French qualifier Pauline Parmentier in the semis. In the final, Witthoeft beat Monia Puig, who had knocked out top seed Angelique Kerber in the first round, 6-3, 7-5.

- The 22-year-old will finish inside the Top 100 for the third consecutive season. She ended at No. 65 in 2015 and No. 86 last year. Witthoeft is currently just two spots below her career-high ranking, set in August 2015.

- Witthoeft reached her first career semifinal in Budapest in February 2017, defeating a pair of Top 10 seeds – Sorana Cirstea and Annika Beck – before falling to No. 2 seed Lucie Safarova.

- Prior to this season, Witthoeft had only appeared in three quarterfinals, going winless against Caroline Wozniacki in Kuala Lumpur and Lara Arruabarrena in Nuremberg in 2015 and Viktorija Golubic in Gstaad in 2016. This year alone, she reached five quarterfinals (Budapest, Nurnberg, Den Bosch, Gstaad and Luxembourg).

- Witthoeft has reached the third round at each of the four Grand Slam events at least once – including at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2017 – but has suffered from some tough luck in major draws. Seven of her eight career losses to Top 10 players have come at the Slams, and in 2017, she fell to then-world No. 1 Kerber in Melbourne, No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova in Paris and No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina in London. 

They Said It!

“Winning my first WTA title feels unbelievable. I’m so happy now. It’s been a tough week, a tough final today. I’m just happy. To play the last tournament of the season and finish the season winning your first title is just perfect.” – Witthoeft to WTATennis.com.