Nara Wins First WTA Title In Rio
Published February 23, 2014 12:12
After coming through the bottom half of the draw, the No.5-seeded Nara capped a dream week with a 61 46 61 win over No.1-seeded Klara Zakopalova in the final, missing out on some big opportunities in the second set - she was up a break three times - but regrouping and cruising through the third set.
"She played very well and it was a very tough match for me," Nara said. "In the second set I was probably thinking too much about winning the title, so after I lost the set I had a good break and tried to come back and play well again in the third set. I'm just so happy I could win in the end today."
Nara's mother was crying after she reached the final - how will the reaction be back home now?
"I haven't talked to my mother yet but I think she's crying again! And I'm sure everyone is really happy," Nara commented. "I'm just very happy right now. I can't wait to talk to everyone back home."
After being told she would break the Top 50 now, Nara was elated - and stepped up her goals.
"I can't believe it! I guess now I want to stay in the Top 50 this year!" she said. "But it's really amazing. I try not to think about being No.1 in Japan. I really just try to focus on my game and my tennis every day. I just try my best every time and now I have my first WTA title. I'm so happy right now."
Nara is the ninth Japanese player to win a WTA title after Kazuko Sawamatsu, Etsuko Inoue, Kumiko Okamoto, Naoko Sawamatsu, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Mana Endo, Ai Sugiyama and Akiko Morigami. Date-Krumm was the last Japanese to win one, at Seoul in 2009, and she also has the most with eight.
The doubles final was played Saturday and saw Irina-Camelia Begu and María Irigoyen beat Johanna Larsson and Chanelle Scheepers, 62 60. It was the Romanian-Argentine duo's first WTA doubles title together - Begu now has three WTA doubles titles, while Irigoyen won her first WTA title of any kind.