Tue, Aug 07, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Maria Sharapova edges Schnyder to win Acura Classic

AP , CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIAAP, STOCKHOLM

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova earned her first title in 10 months with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 victory on Sunday over Patty Schnyder in the final of the Acura Classic.

Sharapova fired off sharp groundstrokes in the first and third sets to capture her first championship since winning a WTA title at Linz, Austria, in October.

The No. 2 ranked player, who was the defending champion, dropped her first set of the tournament that had a 24-year run in the San Diego-area. Promoters sold the tournament rights back to the WTA Tour, which plans to relocate the event.

"It's always good to win a title," Sharapova said. "But to actually come back the year after and back it up is good."

Schnyder, the No. 11 seed, had no answers for Sharapova in the first set as her Russian opponent consistently hit the lines with forehands and backhands.

"In the first set, I felt like I hit some really good shots, especially when she was serving," Sharapova said. "It opened some doors for me."

But the Swiss woman settled down in the second set and earned her first break of serve to take a 3-1 lead. Sharapova broke right back, but Schnyder eventually broke again for a 5-3 lead. The left-hander took the second set when Sharapova hit a forehand long.

The third set was a repeat of the first as Sharapova began hitting crisp winners again. Sharapova jumped out to a 4-0 lead after breaking Schnyder in the second and fourth games. She finished off the match with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Second-seeded Agnieszka Rad-wanska routed Vera Dushevina 6-1, 6-1 on Sunday to win the Nordic Light Open for her first WTA title.

Dushevina, who also played her first WTA final, was visibly bothered by a toe blister and did not move well around the court.

"I knew it," Radwanska said. "I have had the same problems on hard courts. Of course, it was not so good for the match."

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