Serbia’s team celebrates after Janko Tipsarevic defeated Canada’s Vasek Pospisil during their Davis Cup semi-final at the Belgrade Arena on Sunday. Serbia, the 2010 champions, will host the November 15-17 final against the Czechs who defeated Argentina 3-2 in their semi-final in Prague.
QUEBEC CITY: Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic won her fifth WTA title when she edged New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Bell Challenge in Quebec City yesterday.
Third seed Safarova’s serve proved a decisive weapon as the 26-year-old left-hander ended a five-year victory drought and improved her record in WTA finals to 5-7.
“I hope it’s not another five years until the next (title),” said Safarova, who was broken early in the first set but held serve the rest of the way.
Sixth seed Erakovic had her chances but the Croatian-born New Zealander squandered five break points.
Safarova broke Erakovic four times on the indoor carpet.
“It was just about a few points today, but I was more consistent with my game and more aggressive, and I think that’s why I won,” said Safarova, who entered the event ranked 48th in the world.
“My strategy was to try to go to her backhand side and just try to use my lefty shots as well as I could. I was a little bit nervous at the end because it was so long since my last WTA title.
“I really wanted to win the title today - so it’s great I was able to do that.”
Safarova not only landed more of her first serves in play than Erakovic, but also had a higher winning percentage when she did.
“I really tried hard to get things right, but Lucie made it very difficult for me today,” Erakovic told reporters.
“She played solid and didn’t let up her lead at all. And I was struggling to find my rhythm with her lefty serve and in the rallies - so I just have to take my hat off to her and move on now.”
Hsieh claims two victories on day one in Guangzhou
GUANGZHOU: Reigning WTA Guangzhou Open champion and Taiwan’s first Grand Slam winner Hsieh Su-Wei claimed victory in both her singles and doubles first round matches yesterday, the opening day of this year’s tournament.
Sixth-seeded Hsieh, from Taiwan, defeated Argentina’s Paula Ormaechea 6-1, 6-2 in 56 minutes in her singles match in the morning. In the afternoon Hsieh then won her first round doubles match with her partner, China’s Peng Shuai. The top seeds and Wimbledon champions overcame Maria Fernanda Alvarez Teran of Bolivia and Keri Wong of the United States 6-3, 6-3.
Hsieh will face China’s Zhang Shuai in the second round of the singles tournament, after the wildcard entry defeated Russia’s Olga Puchkova in their first round tie 6-0, 7-6 (7/1).
Briton Johanna Konta won her first round match against Richel Hogenkamp from Holland, 6-3, 6-2, while Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-3.
Galina Voskoboeva from Kazakhstan and Monica Puig from Puerto Rico will face off in the second round after both players won their first round games.
Vania King of the US also booked her place in the second round after a hard fought 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over South African Chanelle Scheepers. REUTERS