Vinci Edges Begu For Third Title Of Season
Published July 10, 2011 12:00
BUDAPEST, Hungary - She was two points from losing her second round and faced two match points in her quarterfinal, so when she trailed 4-2 in the third set of the final, did anyone really think it would be over? Roberta Vinci won her third WTA title of the year, edging Irina-Camelia Begu in the final, 64 16 64.
In her first week as a Top 25 player, the No.1-seeded Vinci had to dig out a few matches during the week. Twice she was two points from losing to 17-year-old Timea Babos in the second round and she was down 64 52 and match points to 29-year-old Zuzana Kucova in the quarters, but both times she was too tough.
Meanwhile, a No.7-seeded Begu was plowing her way through the bottom half of the draw, not losing a single set - even pulling off an upset in the semifinals, beating No.5 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, 64 64. And having lost her only previous WTA final earlier this year, the 20-year-old Romanian seemed hungry.
Perhaps with her greater experience telling her how important a fast start is in a WTA final, the 28-year-old Vinci came out very strong, taking a 5-2 lead. That's when Begu began finding the range on her big serve and powerful groundstrokes however, as she caught up to 5-4 before finally letting the 39-minute set go, 6-4.
Begu had found her range. She stormed through the second set, 6-1, and built a commanding 4-2 lead in the third. But that's when the momentum shifted again.
Vinci won a five-deuce service game to close to 3-4 then played a flawless return game - two big forehand returns, a slice passing shot at Begu's feet and a perfect drop shot - to break back and even the decider at 4-all. The Italian held again and built double match point on Begu's serve, 15-40 - Begu fired an inside out forehand winner on the first, Vinci hit one last drop shot on the second.
"I began well, but in the second set I felt tired and the heat made things more difficult. I didn't play aggressively enough," Vinci said. "I was still tired in the third but at 4-2 down I pushed myself and told myself, 'Come on, come on.' I started to play stronger on my forehand and managed to turn things around."
It was Vinci's sixth career title on the WTA, her first coming at Bogotá in 2007, then Barcelona in 2009, Luxembourg in 2010 and three this year - Barcelona, 's-Hertogenbosch and now Budapest. She has won 12 of her last 13 matches.
No.1 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Alicja Rosolska beat No.2 seeds Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova in the doubles final, 62 62. Medina Garrigues won her 18th WTA doubles title, Rosolska took home her third.