Vinci Wins First Tour Singles Title
Published February 25, 2007 12:00
BOGOTÁ, Colombia - Although the means by which she clinched it were anticlimactic, Roberta Vinci finally broke through with her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title on Sunday, prevailing at the Copa Colsanitas Santander when her Italian countrywoman Tathiana Garbin retired during the final due to nagging gastrointestinal illness.
Garbin, the No.1 seed and a veteran Tour player who has had her best career results over the last 12 months, had won the first set and was up 3-0 in the third set when the stomach problems grew unbearable and forced her to stop.
"I felt sick since Saturday night," Garbin said. "I got better Sunday morning but in the second set, when I was winning 3-0, the problem came back. I fought to try and finish the match but it was impossible."
The No.6-seeded Vinci had mixed feelings about the 67(4) 64 03 retirement win.
"I achieved my first title but with what happened to Tathiana it is not something I can fully enjoy," Vinci said. "I would've liked it if we were playing under the same conditions."
Vinci is one of the few players on the Tour who uses serve-and-volleying regularly, a style that has helped her excel on faster surfaces in addition to the red clay that she is so used to, coming from Italy. Until this week, her best results were semifinals at 2002 Tashkent, 2005 Eastbourne and 2006 Palermo, but a trio of upsets in the ultimate three rounds here over No.4 seed Emilie Loit, No.2 seed Flavia Pennetta and finally Garbin, helped her secure her first Tour triumph.
On this week's rankings, Vinci made an emphatic return to the Top 50, surging from No.64 to No.43, six spots away from her career-high of No.37 from a year ago. Garbin also continued to climb, inching to a new high of No.27, from No.29.
Defending champion and No.3 seed Lourdes Domínguez Lino fell in the semifinal round to Garbin.
Three of the four singles semifinalists took the court on Saturday afternoon for the doubles final, with the top-seeded duo of Domínguez Lino and Paola Suárez outlasting No.2 seeds Pennetta and Vinci in a match tie-break for a 16 63 119 win. It is the Spaniard's maiden Tour doubles title, and the Argentine's 44th.