Mathilde Eyes Maiden Title
Published February 19, 2011 06:10
BOGOTÁ, Colombia - Bogotá has been very good to Lourdes Domínguez Lino, and the Spaniard has been very good to Bogotá: Now 29, she has loyally played the event each year for more than a decade, lifting the trophy once and finishing runner-up as well. And on Sunday she'll have a chance to burnish her reputation in Colombia when she takes on Mathilde Johansson in the final of the XIX Copa BBVA Colsanitas.
Seventh-seeded Domínguez Lino advanced to the title bout by way of a walkover, when first-time WTA semifinalist Petra Martic was forced to withdraw due to illness. If experience counts, she'll be the unqualified favorite against Johansson: This is her fourth final overall, having been runner-up at Budapest at 2006 and here in 2005.
"I'm feeling good," said Domínguez Lino, who is currently ranked No.77 in the world. "This is a tournament I've loved coming to for many years. I've been coming here every year since 2000, which says everything. It's not easy playing here because of the altitude, but my game adapts well here and because of that I've had good results."
For her part, Johansson had to work harder for what is her first WTA final, having never been past a tour quarterfinal before this week. The 25-year-old started strongly against No.5 seed Carla Suárez Navarro; didn't panic when the Spaniard drew level at a set apiece; and eventually closed out the statistically tight encounter in imposing style, 62 26 60.
"I've been playing well this year," said the Swedish-born Frenchwoman, who was beaten by Gisela Dulko in the last eight here in 2009. "I've played Lourdes before and never won. She has a similar style to Carla so I'll have to stay focused and just play my game."
The doubles title was decided on Saturday, with top seeds Edina Gallovits-Hall and Anabel Medina Garrigues saving two match points to beat unseeded Sharon Fichman and Laura Pous-Tio, 26 76(6) 119. Gallovits-Hall now owns three WTA doubles titles while Medina Garrigues has 17.