Shaughnessy Wins Inaugural Barcelona Title
Published June 16, 2007 12:00
BARCELONA, Spain - She showed the first signs of a season turnaround just before Roland Garros, and just one week after the year's second major she completes her comeback to the winner's circle; Meghann Shaughnessy won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of the year, and the sixth of her career, at the $145,000 Barcelona KIA, which was in its inaugural year on the women's tennis calendar.
Shaughnessy was solid in just about every department in Saturday afternoon's final against the tournament's breakout star, Edina Gallovits, cruising past the Romanian in a pair of routine sets, 63 62. Gallovits had taken down No.5 seed Lourdes Domínguez Lino, No.4 seed Kaia Kanepi and No.7 seed Virginie Razzano en route to her first career Tour final, but the No.6-seeded Shaughnessy proved too much for her.
"I went into the final not knowing what to expect," said Shaughnessy, who hadn't played against Gallovits before. "The key today was my serve, and dictating play from the baseline. If I gave her too much time she would have run me around."
"I came out and played well, and it was close until 3-all but then she stepped it up," Gallovits said. "I had a point for 3-1 in the first set but I just didn't use my chances. I made a few easy mistakes and just wasn't aggressive enough."
Shaughnessy came into Barcelona just 7-14 on the year; the only notable result prior to the KIA was a quarterfinal showing at Istanbul three weeks ago. But now the American leaves with her another career title, all of which she holds dear.
"Every title I've won is so different; the first one was special, but this was a really nice one to win too," Shaughnessy added. "I always just play one match at a time because the competition is so tough these days it doesn't matter what you did yesterday or last week. Even though I only lost one set this week, every one was very close, and I'm just really happy. I feel more confident about my game."
And despite all the talk of American tennis being on the decline, Shaughnessy is still feeling like she has a lot left to contribute.
"Unfortunately, in the last few years a lot of our top players stopped; Capriati, Seles, Lindsay," she continued. "Venus and Serena are always capable of being on top but they've been having some injuries lately. As far as up-and-comers I just don't know, but for me there's definitely still a lot left. I got to No.11 a few years ago and have struggled but I'm working hard and it's starting to come back in the right direction now. It's a really good feeling to win this tournament."
Gallovits becomes the latest of a trio of Romanians to make breakout runs so far this year. Sorana Cirstea became the first from the nation in almost seven years to reach a Tour singles final, doing so at Budapest; Ioana Raluca Olaru has been to two semifinals this year, at Memphis and Fès; and Gallovits rounds it out.
"It has been a long time since we had any highly-ranked Romanians, but now we've got a bunch coming up," Gallovits said. "It's great to have people from there to compete with, to see at the Slams and speak the same languages with, and just be there to encourage and watch each other. I'm glad to be a part of it."
Gallovits' run to the Barcelona final was very much a shock, considering she was unseeded and had to knock down three tough seeds along the way.
"I just came here trying to work on my game for Wimbledon, so it turned out to be a great week. I didn't focus on winning. I just tried to work on things and they all went well. It's like I woke up one day and I was in the final!"
The doubles title went to Spaniards Nuria Llagostera Vives and Arantxa Parra Santonja, who beat out Domínguez Lino and Flavia Pennetta, 76(3) 26 1210. Pennetta was also one of the biggest successes of the tournament, being the lone player to take Shaughnessy to three sets (she was up 3-1 in the third set in the semifinals before falling, 60 46 64) and of course reaching the doubles final.
The Barcelona KIA was making its first appearance on the Tour calendar this year. One of its biggest assets was Tour legend Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, who served as Co-Tournament Director. The event was held where the 1992 Barcelona Olympic tennis finals were played, at the Centro Municipal de Tenis.