Razzano Wins First Title in Guangzhou
Published September 30, 2007 12:00
GUANGZHOU, China - The rumblings of something big could be felt throughout the summer, and in her first fall venture this past week she made it happen. Virginie Razzano was in strong form throughout her week at the Jinjiannan Guangzhou International Women's Open but on Sunday she was unstoppable, crushing Tzipora Obziler 60 63 in the final and walking away with her first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title.
Razzano came into Guangzhou as one of the clear favorites for the title on paper, but having not played a match since a second round loss at the US Open, she was unsure of how she would fare against a field that had mostly played a few weeks since.
"I came here with the goal of getting used to the conditions in Asia, to prepare for this part of the season," Razzano said. "I didn't play Beijing; instead I came here early to practice, and didn't really expect to play well until Tokyo and Bangkok. But I'm pleasantly surprised to play so well this week. I'm very excited to win."
Razzano's star began rising during the summer hardcourt season; she went 10-4 through her last four events, earning two Top 20 wins and making her second career final at Forest Hills. Now she finally has a title to her credit, and pointed to a change in competitive mentality.
"My objective at the beginning of the year was to get back in the Top 40 or Top 30; I have done that and will keep working toward my future objectives," she said. "This is my first title after eight years on the Tour; it's a special moment."
Whilst the No.2 seed was tearing up the bottom half of the draw, the unseeded Obziler was fighting for her life on the top half. She pulled off one of the biggest stunners of the week with a 46 64 76(5) second round win over No.3 seed Peng Shuai, but had to fight back from a set and 3-0 down to do so. She then dug out of a 4-1 third set hole during a quarterfinal win over Ioana Raluca Olaru.
At the end of it all, the 34-year-old Obziler was in her first Tour final, and even had a shot at becoming the third-oldest in Tour history to claim a singles crown.
"I had a very good week; it's disappointing to lose, but maybe next time I can manage it better," the Israeli veteran said. "I beat some higher ranked players and it was a great feeling to get to the final. A year ago I made my first semifinal here and this year I went one better, so I'm very pleased with my week."
Razzano wasn't the only player to hoist a trophy on Championship Sunday; Peng and Yan Zi stormed through the doubles draw without the loss of a set, upsetting Vania King and Sun Tiantian in the final, 63 64. The No.3-seeded Chinese team had to battle back from a 4-2 second set deficit against their No.1-seeded foes.
"It's great to get our first title together, and to do it in our home country is very satisfying," said Peng, who won her first Tour title of any kind while her partner won her third doubles title of the year (11th overall). "We enjoyed our week."