Klara Keeps Winning In Korea

Klara Zakopalova made her 11th career final at the Hansol Korea Open. Alisa Kleybanova awaits.

Published September 25, 2010 12:00

Klara Keeps Winning In Korea
Klara Zakopalova

SEOUL, South Korea - Alisa Kleybanova survived a marathon first set then cruised through the second set and into the final of the Hansol Korea Open, beating Agnes Szavay for a shot at her second career title, 63 62.

Kleybanova, the No.5 seed, needed six deuces to hold her serve in the opening game, a taste of things to come in the 62-minute first set. But she cruised past the No.8-seeded Szavay handily in a routine 37-minute second set.

"In the first set, especially at the beginning of the set for a couple of games, we had many deuces and advantages. It was tough, really tough," Kleybanova said. "I wasn't thinking about winning or losing; I just tried to focus on each point."

This will be Kleybanova's second career final. She won her only previous final, at another Asian hardcourt event earlier this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"I really hope it's going to be another title tomorrow, but I don't want to think about it too much," Kleybanova said. "I'm just playing match by match. I'm going to do everything to prepare my best. Tomorrow is another day."

Check out pics from the Seoul player party right here!

Klara Zakopalova followed Kleybanova into the final with a 54 retirement win over No.1 seed Nadia Petrova when the Russian had to stop with illness.

This will be Zakopalova's 11th career final. She is 2-8 in her first 10, her titles both coming in 2005, at 's-Hertogenbosch and Portoroz. She reached her 10th final this summer, finishing runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in Copenhagen.

"I feel very good on the court here and people are very nice to me," Zakopalova said. "They have been supporting me unbelievably here. So signing some autographs afterwards is the least I can do for them being so nice to me."

Zakopalova leads Kleybanova in their head-to-head, 1-0, winning in the qualifying rounds of Paris [Indoors] two years ago. That was early on in the rise of Kleybanova, however, as she wasn't even ranked in the Top 100 at the time.

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