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WTA 125K: Parks takes all on the grass of the Veneto Open

In the American derby that awarded the title to Gaiba, Alycia Parks clearly wins, clearly defeats Bernarda Pera, and also wins the doubles tournament

Alycia Parks doesn’t change her ways, but she changes – at times – her face. And so, in the final of the Veneto Open promoted by Regione del Veneto, she leaves no escape for Bernarda Pera – beaten 6-3 6-1 in an hour and eight minutes of play – and wins the Confindustria Veneto Est Trophy. The 23-year-old African-American has not stopped having the same attitude on the court, from the first to the last point. An attitude that has accompanied her since the first few bars here in Gaiba and made up of a lot (a lot) of self-talk, a radio constantly turned on the same frequency. But also protests and nervousness at the first dubious calls, plus constant dialogues with her father-coach Michael on the sidelines. In the first set, the 23-year-old from Atlanta showed that she is (also) a player capable of combining her head with her shots, a quality that she had not yet shown during the week in Gaiba. And the results were there to see: because her opponent, also American (but Croatian by birth and moved to the USA at 16) was not particularly deserving. Only that, in that mode, Alycia is a player who is worth (far) the top 40 in the world. And even more. So the 6-3 in 36 minutes in favor of the African-American was practically inevitable. Too bad, however, that among the innate talents of Alycia, a WTA title already in her career (Lyon 2023), there is also that of complicating her life, in total autonomy, without the opponent on duty having to invent anything. Only in this way can we explain the empty passage – fortunately very limited in duration – which after the initial break at the start of the second set led Parks to commit a whopping 4 double faults out of 5 points and give a semblance of hope to Bernarda Pera. 

More than hope, however, it was a pious illusion, also because in the end it is not so much the final score that amazes, but the counting of points. A statistic that in tennis often does not have much value, but this time perhaps tells better than any other how much the final of the Veneto Open promoted by Regione del Veneto was Parks-dependent: 61 total points won by Parks compared to the 36 scored by Pera, a balance that becomes 31 to 16 if you consider the second set alone and that is even more significant (and monstrous) if you subtract the winner’s double faults (10, 13 in the entire match). Calculator in hand: the points actually brought home by Bernarda Pera in the second set were 6. Six, in one set. And to think that, coming from the qualifiers, in the cadet draw Parks had cancelled two match points from the Czech Anna Siskova so as not to say goodbye to the company even before the party had begun. “This week gives me a lot of confidence – Alycia said in the post match – especially because now I will fly to Wimbledon (where she is in the qualifying draw by virtue of her ranking of n.149 Wta, ed.). The one in London is one of my favorite events of the year, arriving there with a victory is always very positive and can be a great help”. Nothing to add then, because Parks also repeated the doubles title won on Saturday evening in pair with her other compatriot Hailey Baptiste, in addition to taking home the prize branded Regione del Veneto as the revelation of the tournament. Confirming herself stronger than all. Just like the Veneto Open promoted by Regione del Veneto proved to be stronger than everything, even the weather conditions that marked the final day of the event. Double work for the organization and for the ‘groundsmen’, busy ‘taking care’ of the field blade by blade of grass before the final, with a team of 8 people working since 6 in the morning and with repeated coverings and uncoverings to check the state of the turf. Fortunately, the rain stopped falling on Gaiba right in the window that was necessary for Alycia Parks to secure her first career grass title. “It was an incredible third edition – commented Elia Arbustini, the director of the Veneto Open promoted by Regione del Veneto – in terms of numbers, level and public response. Throughout the week we always had an excellent turnout, also thanks to the performances of our Italian players, Sara Errani above all. We can already confirm the commitment for 2025 and we want to continue to grow, step by step, also counting on a staff that from edition to edition proves to be super”. Looking ahead, a great sun shines on the future of Gaiba.

Singles, final:  Parks (USA, Q) b. Pera (USA, 8) 6-3 6-1.
Doubles, final:  Baptiste / Parks (USA) b. Kolodziejova / Siskova (Cze, 2) 7-6(4) 6-2