Dover native Brengle wins first WTA title

Madison Brengle proudly displays her trophy after winning the WTA Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, Calif. on Sunday. Oracle Challenger Series/Jared Wickerham

Madison Brengle is officially a WTA champion.

Brengle won the first WTA-level title of her career by defeating Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele in the finals of the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, Calif. on Sunday afternoon.

The 29-year-old Dover native won in three sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

“I’m really happy,” said a giggling Brengle in her on-court interview. “I get a trophy now.”

It was just the second time Brengle played for a WTA championship.

The only other time she made a final was the 2015 Hobart International in Australia. She fell to Heather Watson in straight sets that day.

Brengle has also won 15 ITF-level titles in her career, which dates back to 2005 when she was 15.

She was seeded fifth in Newport Beach, which is classified as a WTA 125K tournament. Brengle went on to win five matches over the last five days, concluding with her victory over sixth-seeded Voegele in the finals.

After Voegele won the second set, Brengle fought off two break points to hold serve to start the third. Brengle went on to break Voegele’s serve four times in the third set.

Madison Brengle celebrates after winning Sunday’s match. Oracle Challenger Series/Jared Wickerham

“It was up and down,” Brengle said of the match. “In the second set, she raised her level a lot. So going into the third, it helped me out because I didn’t feel like I played badly in the second. She just played extremely well — she hit some volleys that were world-class, too good. And she started serving really well. It didn’t deter me for the third because she played really well so I need to play better.”

Brengle was at her best in the first set, needing just 27 minutes to take the 1-0 set lead.

She won 90 percent of her second serve points in the first set and never faced a break point.

“I felt like I was able to move the ball around,” said Brengle. “I tried to pick on what I could. When I had the chance to stay aggressive, I did. I missed a few at the start, but I feel like I was good at continuing to go for it.”

Brengle is the second American to win the Newport Beach Oracle Challenger Series after Danielle Collins won the inaugural tournament in 2018.

Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open winner, was the defending champion.

Brengle also improved her overall WTA ranking to 81. She began the week ranked No. 95 in the world.

She began the tournament with a second-round win over Japan’s Mayo Hibi 6-1, 7-5 after receiving a bye in the first round. Brengle earned a straight-set third-round victory against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer when Brengle won the first set 6-2 and Wickmayer retired with Brengle up 3-0 in the second set.

Brengle’s run continued by upsetting top-seeded and fellow American Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals.

Brengle dropped the first set against Pegula 6-1 but rallied to force a third after winning the second set 7-6 in a long tiebreak (9-7). She then won the third set 6-2 for a semifinal appearance.

Brengle dispatched Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in the semifinals to clinch her spot in the final against Voegele.