Forest Hills Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Classic
August 24, 2007
Razzano, Dulko Take Down Nemeses To Reach Final
FOREST HILLS, NY, USA - Facing semifinal opponents they had never beaten before, Virginie Razzano and Gisela Dulko both brought out their best and moved into the Forest Hills Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Classic presented by Commerce Bank final Friday.
No.3 seed Dulko was the first to progress, winning an entertaining two-setter against unseeded Nathalie Dechy, 76(4) 64. Dechy threatened late in the first set, holding a pair of set points with Dulko serving 4-5, 15-40. She saved set point against herself as well, with Dulko serving at 6-5, 40-30. But once they got to 6-all the Argentine was just too tough, clinching the all-important first set tie-break in routine fashion, 7-4.
Though the second set wasn't exactly routine it wasn't anywhere near as close, and Dulko claimed a berth in her third final of the year, having finished runner-up at Pattaya City before winning her maiden Tour singles title at Budapest.
"It was tough today with the weather being so hot,"
said Dulko, who beat Dechy for the first time in three tries. "I feel tired but very happy to be in the finals. I am looking forward to playing tomorrow."
In almost half the time, Razzano quickly followed Dulko into the final, dismissing unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina in 65 minutes, 62 60. The No.1-seeded Razzano raced through the first five games of the match before Vesnina got on the board with two of her own to make it 5-2; they would be her last games of the day.
"I am very happy," stated Razzano, who had lost all three previous encounters with the Russian. "There is one more match to go. I am happy to be in the finals. Today I played a very good player and I won with the game I always play."
Razzano is now through to the second Tour singles final of her career, having been a runner-up at Tashkent in 2004 (to Nicole Vaidisova, who was just 15 years old at the time and ranked No.103). Dulko is 1-2 overall in Tour finals, with the two aforementioned finals this year and a runner-up finish at Hobart in 2005.
The two finalists have met once before, with the Frenchwoman prevailing in straight sets, 76(4) 64, in the quarterfinals of Estoril in 2003.
This is the fourth staging of this event. Elena Likhovtseva won the inaugural title in 2004, beating Iveta Benesova in the final. Lucie Safarova outlasted Sania Mirza in an all-teenager title match for the 2005 title. Last year, Meghann Shaughnessy spoiled the now-retired Anna Smashnova's perfect finals record for the title.