May 4th, 2008
FÈS, Morocco and PRAGUE, Czech Republic
The WTA Tour made two stops this week, continuing on the clay court circuit which all leads up to Roland Garros on May 25th. This week the two tournments going on were in Morocco and the Czech Republic respectively.
In Morocco, which didn't feature the most start studded line up, but did include dangerous clay courters like Gisela Dulko and Anabel Medina Garrigues. So it really wasn't a surprise when it came to the Finals, to see both those names facing off against each other. Each player was looking to win here at the $145,000 Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem.
The Final was long and drawn out, much like a typical clay court match. The two traded shots over and over again with Dulko winning the first set in a tiebreak, 7-2. The second set continued the trend of the first set with both players not giving an inch and eventually it once again came down to a tiebreak. Dulko was however stronger on this day and captured the title with a 7-6(2), 7-6(5) win over Garrigues. This was Dulko's third WTA Tour title with her previous two coming at Budapest and Forest Hills last year. For Garrigues, she could take pride in knowing she was playing in her 11th career final and reaching the final. Both players can now look forward to the rest of the European Clay Court season.
However up in Prague, another tournament was being fought for on the same day. The ECM Prague Open featured some well known names in Vera Zvonereva, who had reached the Finals of the Family Circle Cup just 2 weeks ago, as well as others such as Victoria Azarenka and Michaella Krajicek.
Zvonareva and Azarenka however were the two meeting in the Finals this week and Zvonareva proved why she is playing some of her best tennis since 2004. The Russian was in her 4th Final of the year, more than any other player on tour. This time she was determined not to lose and she didn't. The end result was 7-6(2), 6-2 victory for Zvonareva. This must give the Russian confidence heading into the rest of the clay court season. First getting to the Finals at Charleston and now winning in Prague. This was Zvonareva's 6th career WTA Tour title. For Azarenka, it was her 4th career Final.
Next week the WTA Tour stops in Berlin for the Qatar German Open, which will feature headlining names, Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. It should be an exciting week in Berlin.