Unseeded German riser Mona Barthel and veteran Russian Maria Kirilenko captured titles over the weekend on the WTA Tour leading into the Fed Cup week.
Barthel won the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris, taking out top seed Sara Errani 7-5, 7-6(4).
In the second round she upended No. 5 seed Roberta Vinci, and in the quarterfinals No. 3 seed Marion Bartoli. Barthel broke early in both sets, and in both sets held back Errani comebacks.
“Even though I was up a set and 5-2, I knew she’s a fighter and doesn’t give any points away,” Barthel said. “I was a little bit nervous — it was my first final in such a big tournament and she was making it so difficult for me in the end — but I just tried to keep stepping in and going for my shots, and I had to keep telling myself I was still in a position to win the match despite all of those things.”
It was the second WTA title for Barthel after Hobart in 2012. Errani fell to 6-5 in WTA finals.
“Mona serves so well, plays so well from the baseline and physically moves so well — I just couldn’t beat her today,” Errani said.
In the PTT Pattaya Open final, Kirilenko beat German Sabine Lisicki in 2-1/2 hours 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(1).
“I feel great — to win a title is always special, but it’s even more pleasure when you win such a tough one,” said Kirilenko, who won her sixth career title. “It was tough. Sabine played very well. I’m very happy to win this title.”
Lisicki fell to 3-3 in career finals.
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