Kudermetova, the 15th seed, relied on her serve and forehand to push past Kovinic, of Montenegro, who had defeated three seeded players to advance to the final.
Trailing 3-2 in the opening set, Kudermetova fought off three break points to hold serve, then took three of the final four games.
Kudermetova trailed again in the final set, 2-1, but rallied again. She let out a scream when she won a point at deuce in the fifth game, which she subsequently won to go ahead 3-2.
Kudermetova had an ace clocked at 123 mph to win the next game. She closed things out a few minutes later. Along with the trophy, she won her choice of a new Volvo SUV. After the award ceremony, Kudermetova walked over to where four Volvo models were parked, looking like a car buyer trying to make a smart decision.
Kudermetova had heard about the winner receiving a vehicle, “but it’s means more to take the title than to get a car.”
The tournament held a groundbreaking at the old stadium court — now just a skeleton with a green clay surface — a few hours before the final. The stadium had been unchanged since the event moved from Hilton Head Island to Daniel Island in Charleston starting in 2001. Ben Navarro, owner of Charleston Tennis LLC, which runs the tournament, is planning on having a packed stadium next year.
Navarro’s daughter, Emma, is a WTA pro who lost to Kudermetova in the second round this week.