Hradecka, Rezai to Square Off for Strasbourg Title
Published May 22, 2009 12:00
STRASBOURG, France - The winner of Saturday's final at the $220,000 Internationaux de Strasbourg between Lucie Hradecka and Aravane Rezai will have extra reason to celebrate, as it will be her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title.
The Czech Republic's Hradecka fell to Pauline Parmentier in her only previous Tour singles final, last year in Bad Gastein, which was also a red clay event. France's Rezai lost her two previous Tour final appearances, to Elena Dementieva in Istanbul in 2007 and to Lindsay Davenport in Auckland last year.
Hradecka, who turned 24 on Thursday, and Rezai, 22, have split their two meetings, with Hradecka winning at an ITF Women's Circuit event in Denain, France, in 2005 and Rezai winning at another ITF Women's Circuit event in Ortisei, Italy, in 2006. Hradecka hasn't had to play a seed en route to the Strasbourg final and Rezai hasn't since her first round upset of No.2 seed Sybille Bammer.
Neither finalist was tested much during semifinal play Friday. Hradecka was up 60 10 on Japan's Ayumi Morita when the 19-year-old retired with a left thigh strain. Rezai put an end to the run of Viktoriya Kutuzova, running off four straight games at 2-2 in the second set to close the match, 64 62. The Ukrainian qualifier was done in by 14 double faults.