Serena beats Schnyder, wins Bangalore Open

March 10th, 2008 - 12:30 am ICT by admin  

(Lead)
By Saumojyoti Singha Choudhury
Bangalore, March 9 (IANS) Serena Williams broke her one-year WTA title jinx as she thrashed fourth seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 7-5, 6-3 in 83 minutes to clinch the $600,000 Canara Bank Bangalore Open here Sunday. In the doubles final, third seeded Shuai Peng and Tiantian Sun of China upset top seed Chinese Taipei pair of Yung-Jan Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang 6-4, 5-7, 10-8.

Peng-Sun duo got richer by $30,000 apart from gaining 275 WTA points, while the runners-up received $16,120 and 190 WTA points for finishing second.

For Serena, the title, which came after the Miami crown last year, was her 29th and earned her $95,500 apart from 275 WTA points. Schnyder pocketed $51,000 and 190 points.

Serena, world ranked 10, justified her title crown displaying scintillating tennis throughout the match before an august gathering at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association, which also included Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth and under-19 coach Dav Whatmore.

She was in no mood to give an inch to the Swiss and stepped up the tempo from the start by putting pressure on her opponent’s serve as early as in the second game of the opening set when the players exchanged deuce thrice before Schnyder saved her skin with a perfect forehand down the line return.

However, down two break points in the fifth game, the American broke her racket in disgust, leading to a warning from the chair umpire. But by virtue of some good first serves she somehow managed to come clean.

Schnyder too gave the second seed some scares initially breaking her in the sixth game but Serena drew parity in the very next game. She snatched the Swiss’ serve for the second time in the 12th game to pocket the first set 7-5.

The second set started with both players trading breaks till the third game with Schnyder putting her nose in front breaking Serena twice and then holding her own serve to go up 3-1. But she squandered that advantage and lost the sixth game, courtesy untimely and unforced errors, to level the tie 3-3.

Serena, the younger of the two Williams sisters, snapped Schnyder’s serve for the third time in the set to lead 5-3. She, however, had to save two break points in the next and took five points continuously to seal the tie in her favour 6-3.

After her loss, Schnyder said Serena gave her a run for her money and too many double faults marred the day for her. “She made it tough for me to play my game. The first set should have gone either ways but I didn’t play well when needed.

“My concentration level was highest today but I couldn’t maintain it. If you give her a single chance she will pounce on it in no time,” she said.

Serena seemed delighted to return to winning ways after a long time. “It was a big win for me because I missed quite a few tournaments last season due to injury.”

Asked about her game strategy against Schnyder, she said: “I just concentrated on making minimal errors in the match. Though it wasn’t my best performance, she helped me to raise the game.”

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