Staff reporters and AP
Russia’s Vera Zvonareva successfully defended her
Pattaya Open title last Sunday after beating hometown favorite Tamarine
Tanasugarn 6-4, 6-4 in the final.
unleashes a powerful forehand during the opening set of the singles
final at the 2010 PTT Pattaya Women’s Open. (Ariyawat Nuamsawad)
The top-seeded Russian collected her 10th career
title and avenged her loss to the Thai in the second round at Wimbledon
two years ago. She also became the first player to win the singles title
two years in a row in the 19-year history of the event.
Later, in the doubles final, there was something for
the local fans to feel more upbeat about as Tamarine teamed up with
Marina Erakovic of New Zealand to down the Russian pairing of Anna
Chakvetadze and Ksenia Pervak.
Zvonareva, who is on the comeback trail following
ankle surgery in 2009, was in great form all week and only dropped one
set throughout the tournament, in her semi final victory over third seed
Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Her quarter final match-up against
Austria’s powerful left hander Sybille Bammer (a previous winner in
Pattaya) was seen as a potential ‘banana skin’ on her route to the
final, but the 25 year old from Moscow was simply imperious as she
dispatched the current world no 50 in straight sets, 6-0, 7-6.
Tanasugarn put up a good fight in her third appearance in the final of
the Pattaya Open. (Photo/Ariyawat Nuamsawad)
Her semi final match against Shvedova was a closer
affair and went to a deciding set with Zvonareva finally prevailing 6-2,
4-6, 6-3 to book her place in Sunday’s final.
In the other half of the draw, Tamarine Tanasugarn
found herself the sole Thai player left in the tournament after wild
cards Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, Suchanun Viratprasert and Varatchaya
Wongteanchai were all eliminated in the first round. Despite having the
hopes of the home fans resting squarely on her shoulders, Tamarine’s
progress to the final was simply serene and included a great victory
over the number 2 seed, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in the second round,
and a straight sets demolition of former world ranked number 5 player,
Anna Chakvetadze in the quarter finals. Tamarine cemented her place in
Sunday’s showdown with another emphatic display in the semi finals
against Sesil Karatantcheva, dismissing the Kazakh player in straight
sets, 6-2, 6-0.
In the final itself, played out in searing conditions
in front of a packed crowd at the Dusit Thani tennis center, Zvonareva
began by unleashing a mix of shots to keep her Thai opponent off balance
and jumped to a 3-0 lead. With a 5-2 lead, the Russian had two set
points at 15-40 on Tamarine’s serve but missed an easy backhand to lose
the first before the Thai fought off the second with a good serve.
Tamarine held to follow at 3-5 and broke the next
game for 4-5 as the Russian served three double faults. However, instead
of seizing the opportunity, Tamarine sent two successive backhands to
the net to drop the first set in 59 minutes.
Errors again plagued Tamarine in the second set as
she was down a break at 2-4. But Zvonareva handed the break right back,
serving a double fault and hit a backhand wide for the Thai to follow at
Despite some disagreement on line calls, the Russian
held the crucial ninth game to take a lead at 5-4 and forced the Thai
into errors in the next game. She closed out the match on the second
match point as Tamarine served a double fault. It was the Thai’s third
loss in the singles final at the Pattaya Open.
Tanasugarn was magnanimous in defeat however and
praised her Russian opponent.
“She played very well and hardly made any unforced
errors,” she said. “I played better in the second set and knew I had to
attack to win. I would have loved to have won for the fans but Vera was
For her part Zvonareva commented that she was
delighted to have successfully defended her title. “It was a very close
match. Tammy’s been playing great throughout the tournament and Thailand
should be proud of having such a great player. It has been an incredible
week, I had great support from Russian fans and it was a wonderful
atmosphere with the Thai fans cheering Tamarine. Very tough for me to
defend my title. I hope to come back next year and try again,” said the
Zvonareva picked up US$37,000 (1,258,000 baht) plus
280 points for her victory while Tamarine received US$19,000 (646,000
baht) plus 200 points.
In the women’s double final, Tamarine and her partner
Marina Erakovic teamed up well and showed some fine net play to beat
Russians Anna Chakvetadze and Ksenia Pervak. The Russians had the better
of the opening exchanges, but once Tanasugarn and Erakovic got into
their stride the match quickly turned in their favour. They overhauled
their opponents to take the first set 7–5 and then walked away with the
second set 6-1 to win the match in a little over one hour. In doing so
Tamarine became the first player to successfully defend the doubles
title after winning it last year with Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.