Petrova Too Powerful, Wins In Den Bosch
One of the best all-court games on the WTA has been finding its range again, and in 's-Hertogenbosch this past week it all clicked. Former World No.3 Nadia Petrova didn't lose a set en route to her 11th WTA title - and her first WTA title on grass - at the UNICEF Open.
Petrova, the No.8 seed at the International-level event, wasn't even pushed to a tie-break in any of her five matches on the lawns of 's-Hertogenbosch, and capped it with a 64 63 win over Urszula Radwanska, dropping serve in the first game of both sets but recovering quickly each time to win in straights.
"I must say I'm happy to win today in straight sets," Petrova said of the final. "The beginning of the match was a little bit rusty - I lost my serve, even though I was 40-0 up. That put me in a little bit of an uncomfortable situation. But I really controlled my emotions well and broke back to get into the match."
"Nadia was playing amazing today," Radwanska said. "She served so well and I really couldn't do much - she didn't let me play my game. But I was excited to be in my first WTA final and I hope my next final will be coming soon!"
Petrova's first 10 WTA titles were split among hard and clay events - seven on hard, three on clay. She now has an overall 11-11 record in WTA finals.
The 30-year-old Russian also bounces back into the Top 20 now, going from No.22 to No.20 - her first time in the elite since the two weeks of Indian Wells in March 2011, and having gone as low as No.37 in the time since.
"I enjoyed this week very much - I hadn't been here for eight years and it was great, they do everything for the players," Petrova added. "I haven't seen my draw for Wimbledon yet but I hope I have a decent one. I hope to continue playing the same tennis, but I don't want to put any expectations on myself."
Radwanska came out of the qualifying and made it all the way to her first WTA final - she now goes from No.64 to No.54 on the new WTA Rankings.
Petrova came back on court later for the doubles final, though she couldn't pull off the double. She and Maria Kirilenko, the No.2 seeds this week, were just edged by No.1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, 64 36 119, the Italians' seventh WTA doubles title of the year together and their 23rd match win in a row - the longest doubles winning streak since Laura Montalvo and Paola Suárez won the same amount in a row across the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
"We are very happy to win here, especially on grass," Vinci said. "We are feeling good and confident and are looking forward to Wimbledon next week."
"Nadia and Maria are difficult opponents - we've played them a lot this year," Errani said. "It was a very close match and we're very happy to win."