Sunday, 3 February 2013

Pattaya and Paris finals: Barthel shows what she's capable of

Paris final:

Mona Barthel def. Sara Errani 7-5 7-6(4)

Despite falling ungraciously in the opening round in Melbourne, Mona Barthel bounces back impressively this week to claim her 2nd career title and 1st Premier title. She defeated "2nd weakest link in the top 10", Sara Errani, 7-5 7-6(4). Mona could have ended the final much earlier but nervousness got the best of her and she almost lost her way. Thankfully, she finished the job, denying Errani of her first Premier title. Errani's route to the final really only consists of one match and she is just plain lucky to be in the final. Mona's route to the final is very much tougher compared to her higher ranked opponent and deserves this win. Let's hope this young German continues to rise up the rankings and fulfil her full potential.

Pattaya final:

Maria Kirilenko def. Sabine Lisicki 5-7 6-1 7-6(1)

Finally, Kirilenko claims her first title since 2008. She won a hard fought battle against Sabine Lisicki, edging her out in a third set tiebreak. In this topsy turvy match, both players were nervous and couldn't hold on to their leads. Kirilenko was up 5-2 in the third set and had 2 match points. However, she wasted them and let Lisicki get to 5-6 serving for the match. The German won just one point after that as Kirilenko finally closed out the match. Sabine needs to know when to play clutch tennis and when to go for her shots. Her last service game was really a gift to Kirilenko and the Russian just ran away with it. Anyway, this title means a lot to Kirilenko judging by her reaction and it's nice to see her finally winning a title after all the hard work. Well done Maria!

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