Canberra: The Interview

Canberra: The Interview

Seventeen-year-old Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Montenegro won her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title Saturday after beating Melinda Czink in a history-making final of the Richard Luton Properties Canberra Women's Classic.

In just her fifth Tour-sanctioned event, Ivanovic showed nerves of steel to take the match in straight sets 75 61.

"It's an amazing feeling," Ivanovic said. "I didn't expect to win this tournament. I was a little nervous in the beginning today and she (Czink) was playing very well.

"It was a tough match and I am very excited to be the winner. It is my first WTA title and it will give me more energy to keep working hard and to keep improving."

In an amazing turn of events Ivanovic met Czink in the final after having already beaten the 22-year-old Hungarian in the final round of qualifying.

Czink received a second chance as a lucky loser following the withdrawal from the main draw of Katarina Srebotnik through injury. She made the most of that chance to make the final.

It was the first time in Tour history that a qualifier and lucky loser have met again in a main draw final. Ivanovic is also the first qualifier to win the Canberra Women's Classic.

While disappointed to lose, Czink said she would take plenty of confidence from her performance.

"I'm very happy with how I have played this week, but I'm disappointed that I didn't play my best tennis today," Czink said. "It was a match I could have won, but I didn't take my chances when they came. I think we were both quite nervous in the start, but Ana played a great match. She's a very good young player."

Czink had a chance to take the first set when she served for it at 5-4, but Ivanovic broke to level at 5-all, and then again to take the set 7-5.

Czink lost concentration early in the second set and Ivanovic quickly took a stranglehold on the match as she raced to a 4-0 lead. Czink held to make it 5-1, but then Ivanovic served out the match.

Tathiana Garbin of Italy and Tina Krizan of Slovenia combined to win the doubles final.

In a tight three set match Garbin and Krizan, seeded No.3, eventually prevailed 75 16 64 over the No.4-seeded Czech pairing of Gabriela Navratilova and Michaela Pastikova.

It is the second time Garbin has won the Canberra event, combining with Frenchwoman Emilie Loit of France to win the 2003 title.

"I really enjoy playing in Canberra," Garbin said.

"It is a relaxed atmosphere and the crowd is very supportive. It was a tough match today; our opponents played very well.

"Hopefully we can continue to play like this in Melbourne next week."

Ana came through qualifications at the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp. She won her first round match against Vanessa Henke (GER) 6:2, 1:6, 6:2, then breezed past Angelika Bachmann (GER), 6:1, 6:0 and in the final Qualifying round beat yet another german player, Anca Barna (GER) 6:4, 7:6.
Ana will play Virginie Razzano (FRA) in the first round.