Top Uzbek Upsets Top Seed

Akgul Amanmuradova made the final of the Tashkent Open, where she'll face Shahar Peer.

Published September 26, 2009 12:00

Top Uzbek Upsets Top Seed
Akgul Amanmuradova

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - After a three year dry spell in which she didn't win a single Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title, Shahar Peer will go for her second in two weeks on Sunday, after reaching the final of the Tashkent Open.

Peer, the No.2 seed at the International-level tournament, twice fought back from a break down in the first set and, once that was tucked away, cruised to victory over No.4 seed Olga Govortsova, 76(5) 62. It was her first win in four Tour matches with Govortsova, following losses in 2007, 2008 and earlier this year.

"I'm happy I'm playing better tennis after every match. I just want to keep going that way tomorrow," Peer said. "My previous losses to Govortsova didn't bother me, nor did I think of them. I just go out and play my tennis."

Peer captured her first three titles in early 2006, at Pattaya City, Prague and Istanbul, but didn't win her fourth until just last week in Guangzhou. Peer is 4-1 lifetime in finals (finishing runner-up to Venus Williams at 2007 Memphis).

In the other semifinal, hometown favorite Akgul Amanmuradova upset the top seed, Yaroslava Shvedova, 64 76(3). Amanmuradova was down an early break in both sets but hung tough to spoil Shvedova's potential all-Top 2 final with Peer.

This will be Amanmuradova's second singles final on the Tour, her first coming at this very venue four years ago (finishing runner-up to Michaella Krajicek).

"It was a fast-paced match," Amanmuradova said. "I was always under pressure but I'm happy to have survived. It's a big responsibility to play in front of your home crowd, but I was relaxed and played well. I served well and used all my weapons. It was positive tennis and I'm thrilled to reach my second final."

"I was a little tired after my marathon match yesterday, but Akgul played brilliantly and did everything right," a gracious Shvedova said afterwards. "I give her all the credit. I'll be thrilled if Akgul wins tomorrow. It's a tremendous feeling to win at home and it will do great things for Uzbek tennis."

Govortsova and Tatiana Poutchek won a doubles title for the second straight week with a 62 67(1) 108 match tie-break final victory over Vitalia Diatchenko and Ekaterina Dzehalevich. The duo won Guangzhou last week; Govortsova won her third Tour doubles title, while Poutchek took home her sixth.

"We're both very delighted to win the doubles event here," Govortsova said. "We played here for the last five years and this is our first title. We're thrilled."

"We've played our first two tournaments together in the last two week and won them both. It's a great feeling," Poutchek said. "We're good friends. We will surely think of playing more doubles together in the future."

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