Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva in the final of the US$220,000 Hansol Korea Open yesterday to win her fifth WTA title.
The 29-year-old Martinez Sanchez defeated Voskoboeva, a first-time WTA finalist, 7-6, 7-6 to win her first hardcourt tournament on the WTA and US$37,000 in prize money.
The two players had marched to the final without losing a set on the way, with the unseeded Voskoboeva producing two upsets when she put out eighth-seed Ekaterina Makarova and fifth-seed Polona Hercog.
However, the sixth-seeded Spaniard prevailed yesterday with her tricky left-handed serve and outstanding net play. She blanked the 26-year-old Kazakh 7-0 in the first set tie-break, then held off three set points to take the second set to a tiebreak, and rolled through that one 7-2.
Yesterday’s two-hour showdown was the sixth WTA final for Martinez Sanchez, but her first on a hard court. She is also the first Spaniard to win a WTA title on the surface since Anabel Medina Garrigues won the Canberra International in Australia in January 2006.
Martinez Sanchez’ first five finals, of which she won four, were all on clay.
PAN PACIFIC OPEN
Ninth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland coasted to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Japanese wild card Misaki Doi in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo Yesterday.
After struggling with her serve in the first set, Radwanska won 10 out of 10 points on her first serve in the second set to close out the match in one hour, five minutes at Ariake Colosseum.
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the top-seeded player in the US$2 million tournament, has a first-round bye as does second-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia.
In other first-round matches, 11th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia beat Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-3.
In the late game, Kaia Kanepi, Estonia, def. Flavia Pannetta, Italy, 3-6, 6-4, 6 4.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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