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Medina Wins 10th Title, Ties Venus On Clay

Anabel Medina Garrigues tied Venus Williams for most clay court titles among active players.

Published April 30, 2011 12:00

Medina Wins 10th Title, Ties Venus On Clay
Anabel Medina Garrigues

ESTORIL, Portugal - Two months ago she was down to No.92 after losing first round 10 times in a row. But everything changed on the clay of Acapulco and this week Anabel Medina Garrigues won her first WTA title in two years at the Estoril Open, capping it with a ruthless 61 62 victory over Kristina Barrois.

Medina Garrigues, who snapped out of her losing streak by making it to the semifinals in Acapulco and had gone 8-4 in her last four WTA events, made that 13-4 with five wins in Estoril, not losing a set the entire week (and upsetting No.8 seed Greta Arn and No.3 seed Klara Zakopalova en route to the final).

Barrois had pulled off upsets over No.6 seed Elena Vesnina and No.1 seed Alisa Kleybanova to reach her second WTA final but her gorgeous one-handed backhand and powerful serve just couldn't hit through the tenacious Medina Garrigues; the Spaniard held game points in two of the only three games she gave up, and pushed the other one to two deuces before surrendering it.

"I played very aggressively and hit it high and deep. Kristina couldn't do her game," Medina Garrigues said. "She's a creative girl - serve and volley, slice, drop shots - and I was there. I felt like she lost her concentration a little bit.

"I think I played well this week. I had some lucky moments, like in the first round I was close to losing a set, and I had a close match with Zakopalova. It wasn't as easy as it looked this week and I'm happy to win my 10th title."

This was the 28-year-old Medina Garrigues' 10th WTA title and ninth on clay, tying her with Venus Williams for most clay court titles among active players. The former Top 20 player is projected to return to the Top 50 on Monday.

After the final, Medina Garrigues also received a watch from tournament sponsor Omega. "I had a great week here. I won the tournament and got a beautiful watch. I don't think I could have wished for anything more here in Estoril."

Barrois fell to 0-2 in WTA finals, a runner-up to Maria Sharapova at Strasbourg last May. "I had trouble getting into the match. Before the final I was playing very aggressively and also with spin, mixing that up with the slice and some drop shots. Today nothing was working. Anabel plays with such heavy spin and is such a great clay court player, it was tough for me on every single point."

On the positive side, the 29-year-old Barrois, who reached her first Premier quarterfinal last week in Stuttgart, is projected to pass her previous career-high of No.65. "It has been a good two weeks for me. I'm disappointed about today but maybe tomorrow I'll look back and be happier about what I've achieved here. I played some good matches here - I just need to forget about this one!"

Kleybanova didn't come away from the week empty-handed however, winning the doubles title alongside Galina Voskoboeva, beating Eleni Daniilidou and Michaella Krajicek in the final, 64 62. It was the pair's first title as a team; Kleybanova now has five WTA doubles titles to her name, Voskoboeva two.

"Alisa and I enjoy each other's company. We've known each other for a long time," Voskoboeva said. "Every time we play well together, but we've never won before - here our game was solid and we really knew each other on the court."

"I'm really happy because I didn't do so well in the singles," Kleybanova said. "It was important for me to play some more matches and have some good wins in doubles. It instills confidence. Another title can never be bad, always good!"

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