Saturday, January 8, 2011
Greta Arn triumphs in Auckland.
In the battle of young vs. old it was "Greta the Great" that prevailed in Auckland over defending champion Yanina Wickmayer, 6-3 6-3.
It was Arn's second tournament win in her career spanning 13 years. Arn described it as a "dream" week which saw her take down three time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova in the quarter finals.
Arn originally came to New Zealand to play in the qualifying tournament and was promoted to the main draw following several withdrawals. She described beating Sharapova in the quarter-finals as "living the dream" and refused to be overawed in the final, attacking second-seeded Belgian Wickmayer from the start. "I'm so happy I don't know how or what to say. My dream's come true," Arn, the world's 88th ranked player, said on Saturday. "I didn't think about who she is or what ranking she is. I just played one ball after the other."
The pressure told on Wickmayer when she dropped her serve with a double fault at 2-2 in the first set and then dropped her serve again in the second set at 2-3 with a cross-court shot that sailed wide.
The only time Arn appeared to lose confidence was when she held match-point on Wickmayer's serve at 5-2 in the second set. She allowed the Belgian to come back and take the game and move to 0-30 on her own serve before rattling off four consecutive points for the match.
"I wasn't prepared for this," said Arn before consoling a visibly upset Wickmayer. "I'm 31 and you are only 21. Believe me you have so much time for winning other tournaments."
Arn, who arrived in New Zealand without her coach, was a top 100 player in 2002 but then put her career on hold because of "an agent problem" and bad investments that left her in debt.
Last year in her second coming as a professional, she jumped more than 140 places in the world rankings to her present 88 and the Auckland win will further improve her standing.
Tonight in Brisbane "Aussie heart-breaker " Andrea Petkovic will take on Petra Kvitova, both playing for their second WTA Tour title.
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