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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tennis: Zvonareva successfully defends Pattaya Open title


Associated Press

PATTAYA, Thailand Vera Zvonareva successfully defended her Pattaya Open title, beating hometown favorite Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-4, 6-4 in the final Sunday.

The top-seeded Russian collected her 10th career title and avenged her loss to the Thai in the second round at Wimbledon two years ago. She also became the first player to win the singles title two years in a row in the 19-year history of the event.

Despite some disagreement on line calls, the Russian held the crucial ninth game to take a lead at 5-4 and forced the Thai into errors in the next game. She closed out the match on the second match point as the Thai served a double fault.

"Tammy's been playing great throughout the week," Zvonareva said. "Thailand should be proud of you for having such a great player. Very tough for me to defend my title. I hope to come back next year and try again."

Zvonareva unleashed a mix of shots to keep her Thai opponent off balance and jumped to a 3-0 lead. With a 5-2 lead, the Russian had two match points at 15-40 on Tamarine's serve but missed an easy backhand to lose the first before the Thai fought off the second with a good serve.

Tamarine held to follow at 3-5 and broke the next game for 4-5 as the Russian served three double faults. Instead of seizing the opportunity, Tamarine sent two successive backhands to the net to drop the first set.

Errors again plagued Tamarine in the second set as she was down a break at 2-4. But Zvonareva handed the break right back, serving a double fault and hit a backhand wide for the Thai to follow at 3-4.

Despite some disagreement on line calls, the Russian held the crucial ninth game to take a lead at 5-4 and forced the Thai into errors in the next game. She closed out the match on the second match point as the Thai served a double fault.