Sevastova wins first Soweto Open

2009-05-03 00:00

THE curtain came down on the R1 million ITF Soweto Open women’s tennis tournament yesterday with fourth seed Anastasia Sevastova of Latvia beating eighth seed Eva Hrdinova of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-2 in the final. A disappointing showdown for the inaugural title but Sevastova was a proud winner.

“I have beaten [former world number four] Jelena Dokic before, but this win and my first title at this level of tournament is my most special moment,” an elated Sevastova said afterwards.”

“Anastasia played really well, flat and low over the net, so when I tried to come up there was nothing to work with,” Hrdinova said.

“My opponent didn’t allow me to play my game. Tactically she’s very clever and her strategy worked.”

Sevastova said she would love to come back next year.

“I am the first-ever winner of this tournament and it is a great feeling,” Sevastova said. “The tournament was very professional, the accommodation, the conditions and everything else was great and if my schedule allows it, I will be back.”

Sevastova’s speed, court craft and low-error game was too much for Hrdinova, who had a superb straight-sets 6-4 6-2 win over top seed Katie O’Brien of Great Britain in the semi-finals on Saturday.

She broke the Czech girls twice in the first set and twice in the second for the

most comprehensive of victories.

In Saturday’s first semi-final of this superb City of Johannesburg-sponsored event, Sevastova beat sixth seed Kristina Kucova of the Slovak Republic 6-4 6-3.

In Saturday’s doubles final, Sevastova missed the chance to be the Soweto Open champion in both singles and doubles when she and best friend Kucova lost 6-2 2-6 11-9 to fellow unseeded couple Naomi Cavaday of Great Britain and Lesya Tsurenko of the Ukraine.

And such has been the success of the Soweto Open men’s and women’s tournaments, the go-ahead City of Johannesburg has indicated its support over the next couple of years.

Sata chief executive Ian Smith said SA tennis is going through an exciting era and the national tennis body is intent on building on the achievements of 2009, which include the development of the game at junior level.

Results:

Singles final: 4-Anastasija Sevastova (Lat) bt 8-Eva Hrdinova (Cze) 6-2 6-2.

Doubles final: Naomi Cavaday (Gbr)/Lesya Tsurenko (Ukr) bt Kristina Kucova (Svk)/Anastasija Sevastova (Lat) 6-2 2-6 11-9.

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