Alisa: Seoul Survivor
Published September 26, 2010 12:00
SEOUL, South Korea - Four of the world's Top 25 travelled to Seoul, but the last woman standing was none of them. World No.28 Alisa Kleybanova ended the week on top, winning her second career title at the Hansol Korea Open.
Kleybanova, seeded No.5, was given a tough test in the second round by Ksenia Pervak, losing the first set in the longest tie-break of the year, 15-13; but after losing that tie-break Kleybanova seemed like a woman on a mission, losing just 15 games in the next eight sets she played, dusting off the week with a 61 63 championship drubbing of Klara Zakopalova.
"Before coming here I wasn't thinking about winning the title because I haven't been playing so well recently," Kleybanova said. "Day by day, match by match, I was feeling better about my game; towards the end of the tournament I was fighting to win the title. I'm really happy that I made it in the end."
Kleybanova improved to 2-0 in career finals, having won her only previous final, at another Asian hardcourt tournament in Kuala Lumpur in February.
"The first one is always special, but the second one gives me confidence and proves the first one wasn't a lucky one," Kleybanova added. "I deserved it, and I'm good enough to win another one. This definitely helps me towards getting into the Top 20. I know not straight away, but it gives me the belief."
Zakopalova fell to 2-9 in career finals, and 0-2 this year. She was runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki in Copenhagen earlier in the summer.
"Alisa was playing very well today," Zakopalova said afterwards. "I was fighting and tried my best, but it was not enough against her. The Korean fans were supporting me so much all week though, and I have to thank them."
Julia Goerges and Polona Hercog won the doubles title with a 63 64 victory over No.4 seed Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova. Goerges and Hercog won their first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles title together; Goerges won her third Tour doubles title, Hercog her second Tour doubles title.