BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Saying afterwards she feels Austrian when she plays here, Alizé Cornet returned to the WTA winner's circle Sunday, edging Yanina Wickmayer in a tight two-setter to take the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies.
The No.7-seeded Cornet didn't drop a set all week and kept that going in the final, albeit barely - she was just a few points from losing both, serving 4-5 0-15 in the first set and 5-6 15-30 in the second - but the Frenchwoman hung tough every time and crafted a 75 76(1) victory over the No.2-seeded Belgian.
"I was playing a lot of chip and slice today - she plays really aggressively, and I can't play like her or she will kill me," Cornet said. "I knew it would be a really tough match. Yanina's a really good player. I was about to lose the second set but I fought so much and tried to stay calm and positive, and that helped.
"I played well on the important points and that's how I won in two sets."
Cornet was understandably emotional with her second WTA title, especially given her first one came all of four years ago at Budapest in 2008.
"It has been four years I haven't won a singles title, so it's just happiness now. I'm so happy," Cornet beamed. "It's been a super week. I really love this tournament. I love the people here and I feel everybody loves me as well. I'm not Austrian, but I feel like I'm Austrian when I'm here. It's my favorite tournament.
"What more can I ask for than winning it?"
Wickmayer had reached her eighth WTA final and is now 3-5 in those.
"It was a good week - I'm disappointed not to win, but she was better than me today and I just have to accept it and play better next time," Wickmayer said. "I'm excited to move onto grass now and hopefully I keep playing well."
The doubles final saw No.4 seeds Jill Craybas and Julia Goerges squeak by No.1 seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Petra Martic, 67(4) 64 119, a first-time WTA doubles title for best friends Craybas and Goerges - for Craybas it was her fifth individual WTA doubles title and for Goerges it was her fourth.