Suárez Back In Final, Pennetta Awaits
Published April 10, 2010 12:00
MARBELLA, Spain - Carla Suárez Navarro has got it made in Marbella. Last year she made her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour final on the red clay of the Andalucía Tennis Experience and this year she has done it again, beating María José Martínez Sánchez on Saturday for another shot at her first title.
Although she had won two of their three previous meetings, Suárez Navarro came into her semifinal against Martínez Sánchez as the underdog. Seeded No.8 she certainly seemed to play that role early on as well, at one point facing a point to go down 62 41; but she hung tough and used her classic clay court game to claw her way back into the match, winning five marathon games to take the second set then cruising to a 26 63 62 win over her No.5-seeded opponent.
"María José is difficult to play against as she serves and comes in and plays aggressively. I was struggling to deal with her shots," Suárez Navarro said. "I was nervous at the start and didn't settle in until the middle of the second set. I managed to turn it around. It was a good win and I'm happy to be in the final."
"I started well. Carla was making a few mistakes but she got better and better and I was finding it harder to stay with her," Martínez Sánchez said. "At the end she was stronger and better physically. It was a good match and I played at a good level. I'm getting the right results and feeling good about my game."
Flavia Pennetta, the No.2 seed, didn't take long to join Suárez in the final, routing Sara Errani in one minute shy of an hour, 61 61. Errani held serve once late in each set but apart from those only had game points in two other games.
"I think Sara was more tense than normal, but she's young and plays well, and will have many more chances to beat me," Pennetta said of her good friend Errani. "Matches against friends are very difficult, especially mentally."
Pennetta will be playing her 19th Tour final, going 8-10 in her first 18. It is her second final of the year, having fallen in the Auckland final in January.
"Having arrived late from Miami, I haven't played my best. But little by little I've been getting better. Carla is a very good player. I will have to play my best."