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Iron Woman Jovanovski Wins Tashkent

Bojana Jovanovski won seven matches in eight days - including a two-hour, 56-minute nail-biter in the final against Olga Govortsova - for the second WTA title of her career at the Tashkent Open.

Published September 14, 2013 12:03

Iron Woman Jovanovski Wins Tashkent
Bojana Jovanovski

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Bojana Jovanovski won seven matches in eight days to capture her second WTA title at the Tashkent Open - and not all of those seven matches were easy, particularly the final.

Having missed the main draw cut-off date, Jovanovski had to play the qualifying last weekend, but didn't have too much trouble there, winning both matches in straight sets. That got her into the main draw - and as the highest-ranked player at the tournament, No.58, she earned the No.1 seed, too.

One by one she knocked down all players in her path, even though there were some struggles - most notably a 16 64 76(5) grinder against No.7 seed Galina Voskoboeva in the quarterfinals, in which she was just two points from losing serving at 30-all and deuce at 5-6 in the third set - but she got through them all, and eventually found herself in Saturday's final at the International-level tournament.

Meanwhile, an unseeded Olga Govortsova was plowing through the bottom half of the draw, taking out two seeds along the way - No.4 seed Donna Vekic and No.5 seed Alexandra Cadantu - and the Belarusian eventually worked her way into the final too, winning her last three rounds in straight sets.

For two hours and 56 minutes Jovanovski and Govortsova slugged it out on center court. After they split the first two sets Govortsova seemed headed for victory, building a 4-2 lead in the third set - but the No.1-seeded Jovanovski had one last push in her, clawing back for a 46 75 76(3) victory.

"Anybody could have won this match today," an elated Jovanovski said afterwards. "It was a close match and all credit to Olga for an incredible battle. I'm so happy, and I didn't really believe I could do it today. I have to thank all the people who made this possible, including my biggest supporter - my father, and also to my physical coach, who has really improved my movement on the court this year.

"I've had a tough year. I haven't had too many matches, so it was good that I had to play the qualies. It's great to finish this week on a good note. This title means a lot to me. I'll be back next year."

Govortsova was gracious in defeat. "Bojana played very well today," the Belarusian said. "She was moving well and hitting the ball really hard out there. Congratulations to her for a good win."

Jovanovski is now 2-0 in WTA finals, winning another International-level hardcourt title at Baku last year. Govortsova fell to 0-4 in WTA finals, a runner-up at Memphis in 2008 (to Lindsay Davenport), Moscow in 2009 (to Francesca Schiavone) and Ponte Vedra Beach in 2010 (to Caroline Wozniacki).

The doubles went to top seeds Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova, who didn't lose a set all week and continued that trend with a 63 63 win over No.2 seeds Govortsova and Mandy Minella in the final. It was their first WTA doubles title together - Babos now has five WTA doubles titles, Shvedova eight.

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