Kenin built a 40-0 lead in the sixth game of the second set, as she sought to win her second title of the season after triumphing at the Hobart International to begin the season, but could not overcome Wang in their first career meeting.
“It’s my first time here in Acapulco, and unfortunately, I didn’t get the win, but I’m just taking all the positives,” Kenin said on-court in the trophy ceremony. “I enjoyed every moment.”
In the final set, Wang increasingly found the first strike in the rallies with her forehand, and was the first to break serve in the third game.
Kenin rallied to draw level at 3-3, as the winners started to flow from the American’s racquet, and she moved one game away from victory with an emphatic hold in the ninth game.
Nonetheless, Wang would not be denied her breakthrough moment, as she held to love before breaking Kenin a final time, and after two hours and 11 minutes, it was the her 17th winner of the match – again off the forehand – that sealed her first title.
Wang will crack the Top 50 in the WTA rankings on Monday for the first time in her career, and will join compatriots Wang Qiang, Zheng Saisai – who won the doubles title in Acapulco with Victoria Azarenka – and Zhang Shuai in that ranking bracket.