Dow Corning Classic Crowns Singles Champ Olga Govortsova of Belarus
February 14, 2012
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By: Dave Rogers
Dow Corning singles winner Olga Govortsova in action.
An unheralded doubles player has won the singles title in a nail-biting tiebreaker at the state's only professional tennis tournament.
The 24th Annual Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center concluded with championship singles and doubles matches in front of a sold-out crowd on Sunday.
Olga Govortsova of Belarus, the No. 7 seed, who has won seven WTA Tour doubles titles throughout her career, clinched the biggest singles title of her career by beating No. 2 seed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in a third-set tiebreaker.
Meanwhile, in the doubles final, No. 1 seeds and 2011 French Open Champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka clinched the doubles title over Vesna Dolonts of Russia and Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France.
Govortsova served to stay in the match at 5-6 in the second set and fought off both of Rybarikova's chances to serve out the match in the final set, rallying from 3-5 and 5-6 down to take the title with a 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5) victory. The match took nearly three hours and was the first career meeting between the two players.
"When I lost in the second set tiebreak, I said to myself that I have to start going for my shots more," said Govortsova. "She was keeping the ball so low with the slice though, so it was really hard for me. I think that was the toughest final I've played."
Govortsova was a semifinalist at her only other appearance in Midland in 2007. Currently ranked world No. 96, she was ranked as high as No. 35 in June 2008. She won her first ever main draw match at the Australian Open last month and said she is playing the best tennis of her career.
"I didn't have such a good year last year, but this has been a great start (to 2012) for me so far," said Govortsova.
Govortsova took home the singles winner's check for $15,200, while runnerup Rybarikova took home $8,107. Both Govortsova and Rybarikova are heading for a WTA event next week in Memphis, Tennessee, where main draw action kicks off next Monday. Rybarikova is the defending champion at that tournament.
"I'm just really sad now because the match was right there for me," said Rybarikova. "I don't think I've ever had a final like this before. I think it almost might be better to just get blown off the court than to lose like this."
In the doubles final, No. 1 seeds and 2011 French Open doubles champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic defeated Vesna Dolonts of Russia and Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France 7-6 (4), 6-1. This tournament marked the first time that current Grand Slam title-holding doubles champions have competed in a USTA Pro Circuit event. Hlavackova/Hradecka also won the doubles title at the WTA event in Auckland last month before going on to reach the semifinals at this year?s Australian Open.
The Dow Corning Tennis Classic is in its 24th year on the USTA Pro Circuit, making it the longest-running women's event on the USTA Pro Circuit. Several former competitors at the event have gone on to win Grand Slam titles and reach the top 10 in the rankings.
Past competitors include seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and Olympic gold medalist Justine Henin, three-time Grand Slam singles champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Grand Slam singles champion Mary Pierce, 2011 French Open singles champion Na Li, 2010 French Open singles champion Francesca Schiavone, and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Anna Kournikova.###
Sports Article 6740
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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