Monday, July 26, 2010

Chakvetadze and Georges prove easy winners

It had been a while since Anna Chakvetadze conjured up the magic that took her to No.5 in the world a few years ago, but there were flashes of that magic in Portoroz this week, as the Russian won her first title in almost two and a half years at the Banka Koper Slovenia Open.

Little by little, and despite being unseeded, the Chakvetadze momentum kept growing. She won her first two matches in straight sets, including a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of No.4 seed Sara Errani in the second round. Errani had been to the final here the last two years, winning in 2008 and finishing runner-up in 2009.

The quarters and semis were a struggle for Chakvetadze, but she really rose to the occasion, saving two match points to beat No.6 seed Vera Dushevina in the quarterfinals, 2-6 6-3 7-5, then rebounding after a first set blowout to defeat No.7 seed Polona Hercog, 0-6 6-2 6-2 - in front of her Slovenian home crowd.

"The quarterfinal and semifinal matches were the toughest of the week for me," Chakvetadze said. "Against Dushevina I didn't play well but still won - it's good when you don't play your best and win, because after that you play better."

Chakvetadze, who won her eighth career title, and first since Paris in February 2008, cruised past first-time finalist Johanna Larsson in 61 minutes, 6-1 6-2.

"This was my ninth final and Johanna's first, so I don't think she was as comfortable as me today," Chakvetadze said. "I was very concentrated and didn't give her many free points, so I'm very happy with my performance."

She had to double up on finals day but it didn't stop her from her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title. Julia Goerges took Bad Gastein by storm on Sunday, beating Alizé Cornet in a rain delayed semifinal then defeating Timea Bacsinszky later in the day in the final.

Goerges, who had never played Cornet or Bacsinszky before, was strong on serve in both matches, maintaining a first serve percentage of over 60% and winning over 70% of those points throughout the day - and that helped her record 61 64 victories over both the Frenchwoman and the Swiss.

Before this week, Goerges' best results on the Tour were four semifinal finishes. Not only did she break that personal best with her win over Cornet, who had taken out No.1 seed Andrea Petkovic earlier in the week, but she carried that momentum into the title match against No.2 seed Bacsinszky.

"In the morning I told myself just try to get to the final. It was my fifth chance and I did it," Goerges said. "I was so happy to be in my first final that I was really relaxed against Timea, and the crowd was so supportive too. I got tight on one match point but closed it out well. I'm so happy to have my first title.

Goerges had modest plans for her prize money check:

"I'm going to buy a MacBook to celebrate. My laptop isn't working well anymore
so I'll give that to my coach and get a new one!"


Sunny nine said...

It was great to see Anna back in the winner's circle after being determined to plug away the last couple years.

Women's Tennis Insight said...

Im also very happy to see anna finaly getting her old form back, I wasnt so confident after the 6-0 6-1 loss to serena but scince then shes improved out of sight.

Sunny nine said...

Just a question-why does your post say Women's Tennis Insight and not WTA Tour Insight? Also I clicked on "View my complete profile" but couldn't find anything about you.

Women's Tennis Insight said...

Thats just because my first Blog was Women's Tennis Insight and then I stuffed it up a bit and then Created WTA Tour Insight, and I don't think I have yet completed my "full profile" as of yet.

Sunny nine said...

Thanks Emily!

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