Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez defeated Austrian wild-card Patricia Mayr-Archleitner 6-0, 7-5 in the final of the Gastein Ladies on Sunday to win her fourth career title.
The 54th-ranked Spaniard is now 4-1 in finals after also winning in Bogota and Bastad in 2009 and Rome last year. All her victories have been on clay.
“It’s a really good step for me to play a lot of matches in the same week and build my confidence,” Martinez Sanchez said. “At the start, I was playing almost 100 percent perfectly. It’s normal to have a bit of difficulty after such a good start, but I stayed calm all the time until the end, and that’s why I won.”
The 109th-ranked Mayr-Archleitner, who trashed the 8th-seeded Ksenia Pervak 6-0, 6-0 on Saturday to reach her first career WTA Tour final, won just four points on serve and nine in total in the opening set.
The 28-year-old Martinez Sanchez, playing her first final this season, had nine aces and won the first seven games. However, she found herself 4-1 down in the second after dropping serve twice.
She saved six more break points to win six of the next seven games as her opponent seemed to struggle with the strong winds, which hampered her throw at serving.
Reaching the final means Mayr-Archleitner, who was a career-high 70th two years ago, returned to the top 100 when the rankings were updated yesterday.
AP, PALERMO, SICILY
Anabel Medina Garrigues defeated Polona Hercog of Slovenia 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to win the Palermo Open for the fifth time.
It was the Spaniard’s 11th career title and her second of the season after winning in April at Estoril, Portugal. It was also her 10th title on clay. She now holds the record for most wins on the surface among active players, overtaking Venus Williams, who has nine.
The fifth-seeded Medina Garrigues improved to 32-3 at the event after also winning in 2001 and from 2004 until 2006.
The loss ended a nine-match winning streak for the seventh-seeded Hercog, who won her maiden title in Sweden last week.
Victoria Azarenka remains the only player this season to win back-to-back WTA titles, after triumphing in Miami and Marbella in March and April.
Medina Garrigues broke Hercog’s serve twice to lead 3-0 in the opening set, closing it out on another break.
The Slovenian lost her serve again early in the second set. Media Garrigues closed out the win when Hercog sent a backhand volley into the net.
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