Fabulous Ana storms to title

Fabulous Ana storms to title

Ana captured her second career title – and her first at Tier I level – by thrashing former world No.1 Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Rogers Cup.

Ana, clad in an attractive light orange adidas top and black skirt, played a peach of a match. She completely overwhelmed the world No.13 in a 59-minute display of relentless power.

With this victory, undoubtedly the greatest accomplishment of her career so far, Ana wins the US Open series, which effectively means that she was the best player during the pre-US Open American hard court season.

Demonstrating the kind of fearless hitting that has thrilled crowds at the Uniprix Stadium all week, Ana made a dominant start. Though she lost the opening two points of the match as Hingis served, she rattled off the next four. The break was sealed with a wrong-footing backhand winner.

Ana began the second game brilliantly too, putting away a volley then serving an ace. We were seeing Ana’s full repertoire of shots and Hingis, like Ana’s other opponents in Canada, simply had no answer. The 18-year-old even came off better in the lengthier rallies.

Ana hit 11 winners in the opening five games and had two set points as the Swiss served at 1-5. Hingis saved them, then called for her mother Melanie Molitor to join her on court for one-and-a-half minutes of coaching, as per the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s trial with tuition during matches.

Whatever was said during the change of ends, it had no effect as Ana wrapped up the opening set after just 27 minutes. She executed her gameplan to perfection by dominating the 25-year-old.

It was more of the same at the beginning of the second set as Ana earned a break point in the first game. She showed excellent retrieval skills but could not capitalise when given the opportunity by a generous Hingis. Ana smiled to herself after missing the attempted pass – a sign that she was very much at ease on the court.

As the match entered a crucial period, Ana pounced. She sealed her third break of the match in the seventh game with a backhand pass and added a fourth for good measure as Hingis served at 3-5. Ana thrust her arms aloft in celebration of a most comprehensive victory.

In a remarkable performance that was very much in keeping with Ana’s recent view that immense power is the future of the women’s game, she hit 23 winners, three aces and did not face a single break point.

“I’m so excited I don’t know where to begin,” said Ana during the trophy presentation.

“First of all I’d like to congratulate Martina for a great tournament and some great matches. I would like to thank the sponsors, Rogers, Bank National and Sony Ericsson for making this tournament possible.

“It was a pleasure to be here. The crowd was just great. I so much appreciate that you came here on Monday instead of working! It was just amazing.

“I’d also like to thank my coach and my mum for being here this week, and also my father and my brother and the rest of the family who were following at home in front of the TV. Unfortunately they couldn’t be here, but thank you very much.

“I’m really happy that I have my first Tier I title here and I’m so much looking forward to coming back.”

By Gavin Versi