Maleeva beats Asagoe to win Wimbledon tuneup
June 15, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) -- Magdalena Maleeva beat unseeded Shinobu Asagoe 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the DFS Classic on Sunday for her 10th career title.
The third-seeded Bulgarian took 65 minutes to win on grass for the first time in her career in a tuneup for Wimbledon. She has reached the fourth round the past two years at Wimbledon, which starts June 23.
``I came her with no expectations because I had just had a week off. But it is one of my most satisfying wins because I have now won title on all four surfaces,'' Maleeva said. ``If I get a good draw at Wimbledon I think I could maybe get pretty far.''
Maleeva, whose three previous matches all went to three sets, dominated the final from the start. Asagoe, who beat 16-year-old rising Russian star Maria Sharapova in the semifinal, had no answer to Maleeva's driven forehands and crisp returns in her first final of her career.
Maleeva, who was once ranked as high as fourth in the world, played her 20th final.
``I never thought I could come back to the top 20 after my shoulder surgery (five years ago) but now I have a chance of the top 10 ,'' Maleeva said. ``I think I am a better player now than before. I am very motivated and have a little bit more variety and I am very fit.''
Maleeva converted break points in the fourth and sixth games with backhand returns of serves. She broke again in the third game of the second set and went on to win.