Tue, Aug 07, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Buzarnescu wins first WTA title

PIECE OF CAKE:Taiwan’s Latisha Chan and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic sailed through the women’s doubles final 6-4, 6-1 to claim victory at the Silicon Valley Classic

Reuters, SAN JOSE, California

Taiwan’s Latisha Chan, left, and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic hold up their trophies after beating Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine in the Silicon Valley Classic women’s doubles final at the Spartan Tennis Complex in San Jose, California, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Mihaela Buzarnescu on Sunday won her first WTA title by cruising through the women’s singles final of the Silicon Valley Classic, while Taiwan’s Latisha Chan and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic made short work of their women’s doubles final.

The 30-year-old Buzarnescu dominated first-time finalist Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-0, losing 19 points and needing just 73 minutes to wrap up the final.

“I was able to take all the emotions away and keep focused, and try to take it as a normal match, not as a final,” Buzarnescu said.

Greek Sakkari, 23, had proven capable of dramatic comebacks after stunning Venus Williams and Danielle Collins on her way to the final, but there would be no magical turnaround on Sunday.

Buzarnescu won the first five games in less than 20 minutes before Sakkari got on the board.

“It was not easy. I woke up and I was still tired from yesterday, but she was very good today,” said Sakkari, who incurred 34 unforced errors.

Buzarnescu, who a year ago was No. 142 in the world, will rise to 20th in the updated rankings.

“Maybe people will look differently at me now, but I don’t want to change anything — just think of the good moments, and play,” said Buzarnescu, who lost in two finals this year.

In the women’s doubles final, first seeds Latisha Chan of Taiwan and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic dispatched third-seeded Ukrainian twins Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok 6-4, 6-1.

Additional reporting by staff writer

CITY OPEN

AFP, WASHINGTON

Defending his ATP Citi Open title on Sunday showed growing in strength and maturity, world No. 3 Alexander Zverev said, but added that he still saw a big gap to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

The 21-year-old German won his third title of the year and the ninth of his career by defeating Australian teen Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-4 in the 50th edition of the US Open tuneup event.

“What a fantastic week for me,” Zverev said. “Winning a tournament on its 50th anniversary is something amazing. [Defending a title] feels great and shows mental strength as well. It shows a little maturity, I think.”

De Minaur, who took only 11 points off Zverev’s serve, could somewhat agree after falling in 74 minutes.

“I did everything I could to recover,” De Minaur added. “I’ll have to get better at it and my body will adjust to the circumstances.”

Zverev, who needed a fifth-set Davis Cup tie-breaker to beat De Minaur in their only prior meeting, broke twice to win the first set in 30 minutes. He smacked a forehand winner to break for a 2-1 edge and held serve to the finish.

In the Citi Open women’s singles final, Svetlana Kuznetsova fended off four match points on her way to a 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Czech Donna Vekic.

It took a remarkable comeback by the 2014 champion to win an 11th consecutive match in the US capital and secure her 18th career title.

“There’s something going on in Washington,” Kuznetsova said. “I’ve been here two times and I’ve never lost.”

The Russian’s previous WTA title came at the Kremlin Cup in 2016 and she looked set to miss out on adding another Washington crown to her resume when she miscued a backhand into the net to give Vekic a third match point at 6-5 in the second set.

Kuznetsova crushed a forehand return winner to level at 6-6, but a Vekic forehand set up a fourth match point at 7-6, only for the Croat to hit a makeable forehand wide on the next point.

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