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Nadia To Go for Title No.10 On Sunday

Shahar Peer and Nadia Petrova, the Citi Open's Top 2 seeds, will compete for the title after each winning three-setters in the semifinals.

Published July 30, 2011 11:06

Nadia To Go for Title No.10 On Sunday
Nadia Petrova

COLLEGE PARK, MD, USA - Two players seeking a return to past glory will vie for the inaugural Citi Open title on Sunday. Top-seeded Shahar Peer has five career titles, but none since Tashkent in 2009. Second-seeded Nadia Petrova has nine career titles, but none since Québec City in 2008.

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This will be the fourth time this year that an event's Top 2 seeds have met in the final and interestingly enough, the No.2 seed has won each time so far. Despite being the lower seed, Petrova may actually be the favorite, considering her record against Peer. She is 5-0 against her, having only dropped a set once.

Both finalists were pushed in their semifinals on Saturday. Shahar Peer outlasted Tamira Paszek, 36 76(2) 64, in three hours, six minutes, despite losing the match's first four games.

"I think it was a good first set even though I lost it," Peer said. "She played really well. I just said to myself to keep being aggressive and go for my shots and the match can turn around."

Sure enough, it did, with Peer going ahead 4-2 in the second. However, Paszek then reeled off three straight games and served for the match at 5-4, getting as close as two points from victory at 30-30. Peer rallied to take the set to a tie-break, which she won comfortably. Then she got the third set's only break at 3-3 en route to the win.

"It feels great to win four matches in a row after so many months where I didn't do that," Peer said of putting her five match losing streak entering this event behind her. "It was a great win for me, a very tough one."

Paszek was coming off a three-hour, 42-minute quarterfinal triumph over Stéphanie Dubois late Friday night.

"I started the match really well. I played my game, played aggressive and dominated the first set," Paszek said. "Second set I was struggling a lot with fatigue. I hardly even had 12 hours to recover from yesterday. I was trying to hang in there, but I was just struggling with dizziness and heat illness. It was tough for me to close. It was a tough one, but there are positive things to take out of this."

As for Petrova, she wasn't quite as close to defeat as Peer, but also dropped the first set in her 16 61 63 win over Irina Falconi.

"My concentration was not there. My reactions were not there," Petrova said of her slow start. "I felt half a second late to react to the ball. I knew I had to be more light on my feet and get in a groove, and that's what I tried to do. Breaking her right away in the second set helped get my confidence and game back and I played solid from there until the end."

"I think Nadia played really well today," said Falconi, who will crack the Top 100 for the first time on Monday's rankings. The second and third set I think she served exceptionally well. Her Top 5 in the world status really came out.

"There are a tremendous amount of positives I can take from this week. I'm Top 80 after this tournament, my first semifinal in a tour event. There has been so much progress that my team and I have made. We're going to use so much of what happened this week for the rest of my career."

Peer is 5-2 in her career in finals, while Petrova is 9-11. It will be Peer's first final since she was runner-up at Hobart in January 2010 and Petrova's first since she was runner-up at New Haven last August.

In Sunday's doubles final, No.1 seeds Sania Mirza and Yaroslava Shvedova will square off with No.2 seeds Olga Govortsova and Alla Kudryavtseva.

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