Anna & Johanna Into Final
Published July 24, 2010 12:00
PORTOROZ, Slovenia - In what has become the theme for her in Portoroz, Anna Chakvetadze overcame the odds to make the final, rallying from a 6-0 first set to beat Polona Hercog in front of her home crowd, 06 62 62.
Chakvetadze, who saved two match points to beat No.6 seed Vera Dushevina in the quarterfinals, lost the first seven games of her match against No.7 seed Hercog on Saturday before making her move, eventually grinding past the aggressive Slovenian in an hour and 48 minutes in their first career meeting.
Chakvetadze will be playing her first final since New Haven in August 2008, where she was runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki.
"I'm very excited. It has been almost two years with no final, now finally here," Chakvetadze said. "In the beginning I didn't know what to do. I didn't know her game too well. She was hitting the lines and making almost no mistakes, but in the second set I changed my tactics a bit and it worked."
Hercog was the only seed who made it to the final four but was aware Chakvetadze isn't a typical No.103 in the world: "She was a top player, Top 5, and much more experienced than I am," the Slovene teen said. "I should have played phenomenally but I'm missing these kinds of matches."
Awaiting Chakvetadze in the final will be Johanna Larsson, who reached her first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour final when another Russian, Ksenia Pervak, retired with a right wrist injury from the second semifinal while trailing, 62 10.
"This place is like a fairytale. It's so pretty in Portoroz," Larsson said. "I'm always happy to win, but I feel sorry for Ksenia. It's a part of the game though, and I was feeling good out there. It's my first final - I'm going to go out there and enjoy the match. Tomorrow is a new day and we'll see what it brings."
Chakvetadze and Larsson will be playing each other for the first time.
In the doubles final, Maria Kondratieva and Vladimira Uhlirova upheld their No.2 seeding with a 64 26 107 win over Chakvetadze and Marina Erakovic. Kondratieva and Uhlirova were playing together for the seventh time but had a losing record together before this week - now they win their first title together (it was Kondratieva's first Tour doubles title and Uhlirova's fourth).