Oct 13, 2008

Igor Kunitsyn and Jelena Jankovic capture Kremlin Cup titles

Igor Kunitsin, right, still appear to be shocked after his win against Marat Safin.

World no. 71, Igor Kunitsyn who played his first ATP final, upset former world number one Marat Safin 7-6 6-7 6-3 in an all-Russian Kremlin Cup final to clinch his maiden title on Sunday.

Earlier, world number one Jelena Jankovic overpowered Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-4 in the women’s final to win her third title in a row.
“This is beyond my wildest dreams,” Kunitsyn told reporters.

“I’d never have expected to beat Marat in the final in Moscow,” added the 27-year-old from Vladivostok, who took home $171,000 in winnings to more than double his earnings for the year.
Safin, seeded 7th and bidding to claim his first title in almost four years, reached the final without hitting a ball when his semi-final opponent, German Mischa Zverev, withdrew with illness on Saturday.

The big Russian has not tasted success since winning the Australian Open in January 2005.
“I have only myself to blame,” said Safin, who also lost to compatriot Nikolay Davydenko in the 2006 final in Moscow.

“If I had won the first set, it would have been a different story but he gained confidence as the match went on, played well in the end and deserved his victory.”
Love strucked Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, left, and Vera Zvonareva of Russia pose
with their trophies after a final match.

In the women's singles, Jankovic, making her debut in Moscow, broke Zvonareva twice to take the first set in just over half an hour.
“I’ve played her twice in the last two weeks so I really knew what to expect and was focused right from the start,” said Jankovic, who pocketed $196,900 for her efforts.

“I dominated in the first set but in the second my concentration slipped a little bit but I was able to get myself together in the end.”
The 23-year-old has been playing almost non-stop in the last couple of months and must keep going for another week before taking a well-deserved rest.
“I’ve worked really hard in the last three weeks, winning three titles in a row. It’s not easy,” she told reporters.

“But I still have my commitments to play next week in Zurich. Then I’ll take a two-week rest before playing (next month’s season-ending WTA Championships) in Doha.

“I’ve had a tough season, overcoming a number of injuries but I’m quite close to finishing the year ranked number one and I’m really proud of it,” she added.
Zvonareva, who reached her first Kremlin Cup final on her eighth appearance in Moscow, said she could do little to stop Jankovic.
“It seems she had an answer for everything I tried,” the 24-year-old Muscovite told a news conference.
Ross Hutchins, left, and Stephen Huss, middle, pose with their runner-up trophies beside
Sergiy Stakhovsky, right, with his winners trophy (without his partner Potito Starace),
after the doubles final.

In the men's doubles final, first-time pairing of Sergiy Stakhovsky and Potito Starace captured their first ATP doubles title with a 7-6(4), 2-6, 10-6 victory over Stephen Huss and Ross Hutchins.

The 22-year-old Stakhovsky, currently no. 167 in the Stanford ATP Doubles Rankings, was appearing in his first ATP doubles final. Earlier in the season he captured his maiden ATP singles title in his first final at Zagreb.

The 27-year-old Starace has now won three titles in four finals. He captured two titles in 2007 at Kitzbuhel and Acapulco and was runner-up at Acapulco in 2006.
“We played unbelievable doubles. We only signed up at the last moment and we can play maybe the next tournament then we’ll see," said Starace.
Nadia Petrova, left, and Katerina Srebotnik, 2nd left, pose with their trophies after winning the doubles against Cara Black, 2nd right, and Liezel Huber, right.

In the women's doubles final, top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber took on no.4 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik.

Petrova and Srebotnik pulled off the upset in straight sets, 6-4 6-4, for their first title as a team.

It was Petrova's 15th career Tour doubles title and Srebotnik's 19th.

(Images via Yahoo! Sport)

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