Anastasia Potapova wins the final of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz

Dzalamidze/Kuzmova win in doubles

21 years young and already winner of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz 2023! Anastasia Potapova won the final of the Linz WTA tournament on Sunday afternoon at the sold-out Design Center against 32-year-old Croatian Petra Martic with 6:3, 6:1. Potapova is thus following in the footsteps of Maria Sharapova, who won the Linz women's tennis classic in 2006 at the age of 19. "Maria was always my big idol, and I think we also have a very similar style of play." Like Sharapova, Potapova is also a Porsche lover. "After my career I will definitely get a Porsche, they are just wonderful cars," enthused Anastasia Potapova.

Anna-Lena Friedsam narrowly misses out on the doubles title

In doubles, Natela Dzalamidze from Georgia defended her title. Alongside her new partner Viktoria Kuzmova (Slovakia), she defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam and Nadiia Kichenok (Ukraine) 4-6, 7-5, 12-10 in the final, with Friedsam narrowly missing out on becoming the third German to enter the list of winners at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. Her namesake Anna-Lena Grönefeld triumphed in doubles in 2009 and 2012, while Angelique Kerber was the first German to win in singles in 2013. 

Anastasia Potapova and Petra Martic, the two singles finalists, had proved these days that they are truly not above hard work. Anastasia Potapova already knew every square inch on center court inside out. The 21-year-old has had to go the full distance in each of her four matches up to the final and has always won. With incredible energy and an impressive mentality, she overcame every challenge during this tournament week. In the semifinals on Saturday, she had defeated the Olympic silver medalist from Tokyo 2021, Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic.
After her very emotional final triumph, Anastasia Potapova revealed what makes her so mentally strong: "I think it's in my genes, because there are athletes in my whole family. If someone had told me a week ago that I would be in the final here, I would have definitely believed it. Even though I have pain in my knee, that hasn't stopped me so far. But I knew I could do it. My special thanks go to the physios," said the 1.75-meter right-hander. Anastasia Potapova celebrated her first tournament win on the WTA Tour last spring in Istanbul. On her way to the final, she defeated a certain Petra Martic.
Petra Martic, at 32 the oldest finalist in the 32-year history of the Linz women's tennis classic, had a furious start to the final on "Upper Austria Day", even taking a 2-0 lead. But then Potapova played all her trump cards. But the Croatian Martic, who is coached by the German coach Michael Geserer, also had a strenuous week behind her, because on Thursday and Friday she only finished her matches late in the evening. For Martic, who is playing her 15th professional season this year and has won two WTA tournaments (2019 in Istanbul, 2022 in Lausanne) and $7.5 million in prize money in her career, the event in Upper Austria is a regular must-attend: "I've been coming to Linz for many years. It's not a cliché, I really enjoy the tournament. The organization is just insane, I really like it here, and I think you can see that when I play. I just love being on the court here. I'm already looking forward to next year."

Victory trophy a nine kilo work of art made of chocolate

One of the two victory trophies at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz 2023 represented a sweet temptation for the finalists: It was a nine-kilogram trophy made of the finest chocolate created by "Maître Chocolatier" Helmut Wenschitz in his Pralinenwelt in Allhaming! For winning the tournament, Anastasia Potapova collected 29,760 euros in prize money and promised, "Linz definitely has a place in my heart now, and I promise to return next year. The Austrian audience was incredible. I was surprised how 'happy' the fans were to see me and how they carried me through the whole week." The extroverted Anastasia Potapova, who describes herself as a "crazy personality," also clearly enjoyed herself at the subsequent "Trophy photo shoot" at the Brucknerhaus in Linz. This Monday, she will reach a new career-high ranking as number 29 in the tennis world.
This will also please the representatives of the state of Upper Austria and the city of Linz. Governor Thomas Stelzer said after the final on center court: "The players showed great tennis with a lot of passion and inspired us all. Thanks to Sandra Reichel and her team, they made it that the international world was looking at us. Thanks also to the fair audience, who provided sympathetic pictures of the Upper Austria Ladies." Mayor Klaus Luger said: "Thank you to the audience for their loyalty to the tournament. I also thank all the partners and supporters. And a big thank you to Sandra Reichel for having the courage to move to the Design Center."  

Tournament Director Sandra Reichel was "overwhelmed by this incredibly positive response. I was very nervous in the run-up, because I had announced 'The Design Center is the best location, we're turning over a new leaf, and we're setting new themes with new side events' - the pressure was immense, but everything worked out perfectly."

Linz winners since 1991:
2023 Anastasia Potapova
2021 Alison Riske (USA)
2020 Aryna Sabalenka
2019 Coco Gauff (USA) 
2018 Camila Giorgi (ITA) 
2017 Barbora Strycova (CZE)
2016 Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
2015 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2014 Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
2013 Angelique Kerber (GER)
2012 Victoria Azarenka
2011 Petra Kvitova (CZE)
2010 Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
2009 Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
2008 Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
2007 Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)
2006 Maria Sharapova
2005 Nadia Petrova
2004 Amélie Mauresmo (FRA)
2003 Ai Sugiyama (JPN)
2002 Justine Henin (BEL)
2001 Lindsay Davenport (USA)
2000 Lindsay Davenport (USA)
1999 Mary Pierce (FRA)
1998 Jana Novotna (CZE)
1997 Chanda Rubin (USA)
1996 Sabine Appelmans (BEL)
1995 Jana Novotna (CZE)
1994 Sabine Appelmans (BEL)
1993 Manuela Maleeva (CH)
1992 Natalia Medvedeva (UKR)
1991 Manuela Maleeva (CH)