Schiavone Scores Moscow Title
Published October 25, 2009 12:00
MOSCOW, Russia - She started the week off very slowly but as soon as she gathered steam there was just no stopping her, and on Sunday afternoon Francesca Schiavone won the second and biggest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of her career at the $1,000,000 Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Schiavone, the No.8 seed at the Premier-level tournament, battled for two and a half hours to escape her first round match against qualifier Nuria Llagostera Vives, but didn't drop a single set the rest of the way, including losing a total of just 12 games in her last three matches combined.
In Sunday's final, Schiavone found herself on serve with the unseeded Olga Govortsova at 4-3 in the first set but reeled off eight games in a row to win, 63 60. During those eight games she lost only 11 points to the Belarusian.
"At the start it was a fight. We had a big game, the sixth game of the first set, that lasted about 15 minutes. I won it to go up 4-2, then I won the first set," Schiavone said. "In the second set I was very solid. When I got to 4-0 in the second set I looked at the trophy and said to myself, 'I'm coming to get you!'"
"Francesca played very well today. I was trying my best and in the first set there were a lot of long games, especially that sixth game, but she didn't miss much," Govortsova said. "It was the first time I've played here and I was happy to get to the final of such a big event. It'll give me confidence for next year."
Coming into this tournament, Schiavone had a dismal 1-10 record in singles finals on the Tour, her lone title coming at Bad Gastein two years ago. One of those runner-up finishes even came right here, to Mary Pierce four years ago.
"I didn't expect to win the title but I thought I'd have a good week because I felt good when I arrived," Schiavone said. "Moscow is a beautiful city and now many people here know me because it's the second time I got to the final."
Govortsova was playing in her second career final, having finished runner-up at Memphis last year to Lindsay Davenport.
Russians Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova won the doubles on Saturday, beating Russian-Czech duo Maria Kondratieva and Klara Zakopalova in 56 minutes, 62 62. Kirilenko and Petrova, who were the No.3 seeds here, won their second title together, having captured Cincinnati last year; Petrova took home her 18th Tour doubles title while Kirilenko nabbed her sixth.
"Winning the doubles title here in Moscow is a nice way to end the season," Petrova said. "This is the second tournament I have played with Maria, and we had a lot of fun this week. Hopefully we can play together again soon."
"It's always nice to win here in Moscow, playing so close to home with the support of all the fans. It's good to end the season on a good note," Kirilenko said. "Maybe Nadia and I can team up again and try to win another title."