Vinci Beats Hradecka, Reigns Again In Spain
Published April 30, 2011 12:00
BARCELONA, Spain - Her love affair with the Barcelona Ladies Open strong as ever, Italy's Roberta Vinci crafted her second title in three years at the clay court tournament, beating Lucie Hradecka in Saturday's final, 46 62 62.
Vinci was phenomenal in her two prior attempts at the event, winning the title in 2009 and reaching the final again last year (falling to Francesca Schiavone). Seeded No.6 this year she stormed through her first three matches without losing a set; she was just two points from losing to Laura Pous-Tio in the semifinals but clinched a 46 64 76(4) win in two hours and 35 minutes.
On the other half of the draw, Hradecka was hitting her serve and two-fisted groundstrokes to perfection. Unseeded, No.7 seed Iveta Benesova and No.5 seed Sara Errani were among her victims, with her big serve particularly on against Errani in the semifinals - she hit 10 aces to zero double faults. The 25-year-old Prague native was looking for her first title in her fourth WTA final.
But it was the 28-year-old Vinci whose nerves were better on the day, winning 11 of 13 games from 64 21 down to take the title, her fourth WTA title after Bogotá in 2007, here in 2009 and Luxembourg in 2010. She is now 14-1 here.
"Lucie is very powerful. The key for me was to be aggressive and focused, and that's why I won today," Vinci said. "I was a little nervous before the match because it was a final, but I believed I played some good tennis today!
"This is a great tournament. I feel like it's my tournament!" the Italian added. "I'm in love with Barcelona. I always play great in this beautiful city and I'd like to thank Arantxa and everyone here for making this tournament so great."
Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova became the first team this year to win three WTA doubles titles. Seeded No.1 this week, they saved two match points at 7-9 in the match tie-break and defeated No.3 seeds Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova in the final, 57 64 119. They had already won Sydney and Monterrey this year and now have eight WTA titles together.