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Zvonareva just too good for Sania
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February 15, 2009 15:06 IST
Last Updated: February 15, 2009 17:52 IST

Vera Zvonareva [Images] beat Sania Mirza [Images] 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the $ 220,000 Pattaya Open on Sunday.

It was the eighth career WTA Tour title for the Russian in 19 career finals.

Zvonareva had an impressive year in 2008 reaching seven finals and winning titles at Prague and Guangzhou. And she carried forward her good form to reach the Australian Open [Images] semi-finals last month.

A 'tired' Sania, fizzled out after brief fightback in the one hour and 17 minutes long contest.

"No excuses but I just wished I felt fresher," a dejected Sania later said.

"I had a long singles match on Saturday and then had to play the doubles. I felt tired," Sania said.

The injury-ravaged Indian ace was, however, happy to kickstart her new season on a high.

Sania, currently ranked 126th on the WTA charts, battled a career-threatening wrist injury last year and was off-court for most part of 2008.

"I couldn't ask for a better way to start the year. I just came back to the tour at the Australian Open and won the mixed and I reached the final in my second tournament. I feel better and better each week," she added.

Sania fought her heart out against her formidable opponent but the Russian drew from her vast experience to halt the India's brilliant run.

After trading breaks in the opening set, the top seeded Russian broke decisively in the 12th game to pocket the set.

A break in the fourth game of the second gave Zvonareva a 3-1 lead and she never looked back, breaking Sania again in the sixth game to seal the issue.

Earlier, Sania had edged past world number 51 Magdalena Rybarikova in the first semi-final 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 on Saturday while Zvonareva beat Shahar Peer of Israel 6-1, 6-4 in the other last-four clash.

The unseeded Indian, ranked 126th in WTA charts, last reached the singles final of a WTA event was in 2007 in the Stanford Classic.

This is the fourth time in her career that Sania has reached the singles final of a WTA tour event. She now has a 1-3 record in career finals.

She had become the first Indian player to win a WTA title when she won the Hyderabad Open in 2005. In the same year, she had reached the final of the Forest Hill event in United States. 

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