Napaporn captures first career $US50,000 Challenger title
ASHLAND USA, October 03, 2005
Thailand's Napaporn Tongsalee successfully captured her first career $US50,000 Challenger title at the $US50,000 Our Ladiy of Bellefonte Hospital Tennis Classic, a Women's Challenger Tournament at Ashland Tennis Center in Ashland, KY, USA on Sunday.
The Thai 25-year-old Napaporn became only the second Thai woman after Tamarine Tanasugarn to win the $50,000 Challenger title. The Thai, a surprise finalist who came into the tournament ranked 302, defeated second seed Kristina Brandi of Puerto Rico (ranked 103 and former world No. 27) in three sets battle 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the lady final.
On her winning way to the final, the Thai doubles specialist who has won $US10,000 title in Balikpakan, Indonesia in September 2004, defeated three former big name players. She beated Canada's Maureen Drake (ranked 333 and former world No. 47) 6-3, 6-4 in the first round, then she swept past 7th seed Lilia Osterloh (ranked 175 and former world No. 41) 6-1, 6-1 in the second round, a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinals win over USA's Alexa Glatch (ranked 238) and knocked out top seed USA's Amy Frazier (ranked 77 and former world No. 13) in semifinals.
With a good showing in $US50,000 Ashland Tournament, Napaporn who has reached her career -high at 279th in November 2003, will jump up from 302th to 229th in the world, 73 places ahead of her last week's ranking of 302 in the latest list released by the WTA on Monday.
Napaorn who awarded $US7,315 and got 48 WTA points, has so many chance to break into the top 200 as she has three Challenger tournamnets left in the USA. Her next three tournaments are $US50,000 Troy, $US50,000 San Francisco and $US50,000 Houston.