Fourth Time Lucky for Dushevina

Vera Dushevina cruised to her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title in Istanbul.

Published August 02, 2009 05:18

Fourth Time Lucky for Dushevina
Vera Dushevina

ISTANBUL, Turkey - It was fourth time lucky for Vera Dushevina on Sunday, as she won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title in her fourth such final at the Istanbul Cup, crushing Lucie Hradecka in 41 minutes.

Dushevina had been a runner-up in all three of her other singles finals on the Tour, at Eastbourne in 2005 and Stockholm in 2007 and 2008. Seeded No.5 in Istanbul she was in devastating form all week long, never losing more than four games in a set to reach the final, then beating No.8 seed Hradecka handily, 60 61, winning a total of 51 points to the Czech's 16.

"I was serving very well today. I tried to be aggressive and push forward so she didn't have any chance to attack. If she played better it would have been a much tougher match, but it wasn't easy for me - it was a final," Dushevina said. "I'm very happy to win my first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title. I've played three finals before this so finally I have a title!"

Dushevina's title run was so devastating, she also holds the honor of the least games lost en route to a title this year, with 16. Flavia Pennetta was the prior record holder for 2009, losing 24 in Palermo. Not since 2005 has anyone lost that few, the last to do so being Anna Smashnova that year (12 at Budapest).

"Before I came to Istanbul, I lost early in Portoroz, and I wasn't very excited about playing again this week. I was upset, and I didn't come here thinking I could win," Dushevina continued. "It was a tough tournament with a lot of top players, so I'm very happy I was able to win the title."

Hradecka is now 0-3 herself in Tour singles finals, also having finished runner-up at Bad Gastein last year and Strasbourg this year.

"I slept well today, until 1pm, but maybe it wasn't enough because I still feel tired," Hradecka said. "Vera played very well today though. She didn't make any mistakes. Before the tournament, if somebody came and told me I'd play the final of singles and win the doubles, I'd have said they were joking."

None of the Top 4 seeded players made their projected semifinal berths at the International-level event, with No.1 seed Vera Zvonareva and No.2 seed Patty Schnyder falling first round, No.4 seed Aravane Rezai falling in the second round and No.3 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues the last to go, losing to Dushevina in the quarterfinals, on her 27th birthday, no less.

The doubles final, played Saturday, saw No.3 seeds Hradecka and Renata Voracova beat No.2 seeds Julia Goerges and Patty Schnyder in a match tie-break, 26 63 1210. Hradecka and Voracova now have four Tour doubles titles together; this was Hradecka's seventh individual one and Voracova's fifth.

"We had a bit of a slow start, but were better from the beginning of the second set. It wasn't easy winning the second set, but we kept fighting and in the end we won," Voracova said. "The match tie-break is always difficult. The nerves are in the game too and it's not always easy to play your best."

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