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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tennis: Stosur wins Family Circle Cup over Zvonareva


BRUCE SMITH
Associated Press Writer

CHARLESTON, S.C. Samantha Stosur earned her first title on clay Sunday, overwhelming Vera Zvonareva 6-0, 6-3 to win the Family Circle Cup.

It was the second career title for the 26-year-old Australian, who won last year at Osaka.

Stosur, who will reach No. 10 in the world rankings with the victory, needed only 52 minutes to defeat her Russian opponent in the shortest final in the 38-year history of the Family Circle Cup.

"This is bigger than Osaka, and to do it here and on clay and be playing well all week and everything is just a great feeling," Stosur said. "You can't really compare the two, but this is definitely a bigger event, and I'm very pleased that I was able to play so well."

Stosur lost only five points in overpowering her Russian opponent in the first set. She then went up 3-0 in the second, prompting a frustrated Zvonareva to smash her racket into the green clay three times after a double-fault.

Zvonareva went on to hold serve that game and got to 4-3 when she broke Stosur for the only time in the match.

But Stosur broke back in the next game and then held serve at love her first point in the final game a 113 mph ace to win the match.

"I think she played really well, but I also let her play really well," said the 25-year-old Zvonareva, ranked No. 22. "A couple of things that I tried to do, they didn't work today. I made a few unforced errors and then I stayed too passive."

She wasn't as passive after she took her frustrations out on her racket.

"You know, you just gotta try to change something up," she said. "Just maybe break a racket, forget about what was happening for the past half an hour and start all over again."

Stosur wasn't rattled when it seemed Zvonareva might come back in the second set.

"I still felt like I was definitely well in control of the match, and even though it was on serve, I'd broken her a number of times," she said. "And you only have to add up the amount of games I'd won compared to what she'd won."

Stosur said she felt comfortable with her game after gaining early leads in her matches all week.

"To be able to play that well in a final is a great feeling," said Stosur, who received $107,000 and a crystal vase for her victory.

Zvonareva was runner-up at the Family Circle two years ago.

Last year she injured her right ankle in a third-round match. The injury forced her to sit out the rest of last year's clay-court season and she had surgery last November.

"I think right now I'm a bit disappointed about the match, but overall I think it's a good start to the clay-court season," Zvonareva said. "It's my first clay-court tournament in two years pretty much almost. So I should be happy about how I did this week."