Wicky Wins In Linz
Published October 18, 2009 12:00
LINZ, Austria - Proving that her run to the US Open semifinals wasn't just a one-off, Yanina Wickmayer won her second Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title of the year and by doing so broke into the Top 20 for the first time, beating Petra Kvitova in the final of the Generali Ladies Linz on Sunday afternoon.
A late entry into the tournament, Wickmayer was awarded a wildcard to go along with her No.3 seeding. Her first three matches were tough but she made it through comfortably each time, and in her first encounter with Flavia Pennetta, who was the top seed, she shone through with her career-best win, beating the world No.11 in straight sets in a much-hyped semifinal, 76(5) 63.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova was tearing it up on the other half of the singles draw. Unseeded, she defeated three seeds to reach the final: No.5 seed Iveta Benesova in the opening round, No.4 seed Carla Suárez Navarro in the quarterfinals and, most impressively, No.2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semis, beating the world No.10, 63 62, for her third career Top 10 win.
Wickmayer and Kvitova had played several times before but most famously they went toe-to-toe in a two-hour-plus fourth round match at the US Open this year, the Belgian prevailing, 46 64 75. And she did it again in Linz but in far more simpler fashion, this time needing just an hour and 25 minutes to win, 63 64.
"I'm really excited to win my second Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title. It was another good match, we both played really strong and served well. I knew the key today was going to be who was the most mentally tough," Wickmayer said. "I really enjoyed the crowd all week, they were really behind me."
"Yanina played very well today," Kvitova said. "I think she played her crosscourt and down-the-line backhands very well and her serve was really good. I've had a great week here in Linz and I'm really looking forward to next year."
It was Wickmayer's second career singles title on the Tour, her first coming on the clay courts of Estoril earlier this year. On Monday's new rankings she rises into the Top 20 for the first time, icing on the cake; not that she needed more icing really, given earlier this week it was announced she was one of the first two qualifiers for the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions.
"I'm really excited about going to Bali. It'll be my first time there and everyone I've talked to who has been there before says it's really nice," Wickmayer said. "It's going to be a really amazing way to end the year, an amazing atmosphere and something more than a normal event. I'm going to finish in Luxembourg and Bali playing as well as I can and then work hard towards next year."
Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Katarina Srebotnik captured the doubles title, upholding their No.1 seeding in the final with a 61 64 win over No.2 seeds Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska. Groenefeld and Srebotnik had never won a title together. It was Groenefeld's 10th Tour doubles title and Srebotnik's 21st, the Slovenian's first since returning from a 10-month injury lay-off in August.
"It's so great to come back here to Linz and defend my title, although I must say I miss Sugi already!" said Srebotnik, who won last year with Ai Sugiyama. "Anna-Lena and I played great all week, though, and it's nice for me to win my 21st Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles title. My title here last year was my 20th and then I didn't play for 10 months, so winning is a really good reward."
"I had fun with Kata this week. It was the second time we'd played together and we won a title pretty much right away," Groenefeld said. "I had a great week in Linz. I like all the tournaments in Austria; they're really well organized and have such nice people running them, so I love coming back."