FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil - For Anne Keothavong, this past week was probably a week she'll never forget. For years the Brit has been in the semifinals of WTA events time and time again, in both singles and doubles, but she had never gone that one round further - that all changed in Florianopolis.
Keothavong was the most successful British player in the 20-year period between June 1992 and July 2012, the only player from her country to reach a WTA semifinal in singles - and she actually did it seven times, once in 2007 (Kolkata), three times in 2009 (Auckland, Memphis and Warsaw), twice in 2010 (Memphis and Luxembourg) and once in 2011 (Luxembourg). She was the only Brit to go that far between Jo Durie making the Birmingham semis in 1992 and Laura Robson at Palermo in 2012.
Keothavong had also been to two WTA semifinals in doubles before - at Copenhagen in 2010 with Anna Smith, and at Strasbourg in 2012 with Alexandra Cadantu - but she was stopped both times.
"It's only taken me ten years to make a damn final!" she said. "After so many semifinal losses, it was great to finally have a chance of winning a WTA title with Valeria but I guess it wasn't to be tonight. Anabel and Slava are both Grand Slam doubles champions and they played the bigger points better than us. The no-ad scoring system didn't work in our favor at all today and I think we were only able to convert one out of seven or eight games, which was very frustrating. Overall, it's been a fun week playing with Valeria and we've got to know each other better, she's a great girl to be around. We're both smiley, happy people and easy to get on with and that worked for us as a team this week."
And on the inaugural WTA Brasil Tennis Cup? "It was good to see plenty of people in the stands who stayed around after the singles semifinals to watch the doubles, for a first year tournament here in Florianopolis they've done a super job and everything has been really well organized. Our runners-up trophy is a small consolation but as much as I'd prefer a winners one, I won't be leaving it behind."