Sep 22, 2008

Vera Zvonareva defeats Peng Shuai to win in Guangzhou

Vera Zvonareva (R) of Russia poses with Peng Shuai of China while holding their respective trophies after the final of the Guangzhou Open women's tennis tournament in Guangzhou, southern China's Guangdong province.

World no.9 Vera Zvonareva won her seventh WTA Tour singles title Sunday, beating China’s Peng Shuai 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-2 in the Guangzhou International final.

The 24-year-old Russian won her second title of the year after winning the Prague Open in May. The top-seeded Zvonareva recently won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.
"I wasn't going for my shots enough in the first set; I think I was playing a bit too passively," Zvonareva said.

"She's a very good player and fights well, and she took advantage. But I had more experience behind my back and was able to turn the match around by going for my shots again. We had a tough match in our first time playing each other - if she keeps playing like this, she has a great future."
The Chinese contingent was very strong in Guangzhou, with nine - almost a third - of the 32 competitors in the main draw representing the home nation.

Peng made it the furthest and continued to show improved consistency in her week-to-week results, reaching her second Tour final in as many months, having finished runner-up at Forest Hills in August (to Lucie Safarova).
"I was really happy I could get to the final," Peng said.

"There were a lot of fans here, and whenever I was in a tough match they helped me fight through it. Every year this tournament gets better and I hope to be back here next year."

"She had a lot of expectation when she was younger," Zvonareva said of Peng.

"She is improving every year and this year she's playing very well. Chinese tennis is strong right now. People don't want to play in Russia because there are so many Russian players, but now people don't want to come to China either! And I think there are going to be even more young players coming up."
It was a Top 2 showdown in the doubles final, which followed the singles final, with No.1 seeds Sun Tiantian and Yan Zi taking on No.2 seeds Mariya Koryttseva and Tatiana Poutchek.

And it was Koryttseva and Poutchek that prevailed, taking the title by a match tie-break victory, 63 46 108. It was their first Tour doubles title as a team; they now each hold four Tour doubles titles individually.

(Image by AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

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