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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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PATTAYA CITY, THAILAND (TICKER) -- Patty Schnyder won her first title in almost three years Sunday at the $110,000 Volvo Women's Open.

Schnyder, the seventh seed, routed No. 2 Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia, 6-0, 6-4, in the final WTA Tour event of the year.

The 22-year-old from Switzerland earned $16,000 for her first tournament victory since winning at Gold Coast in January, 1999. This is her seventh career title.

"I realise my last title on the Tour was three years ago," Schnyder said. "I know I have to concentrate more and play consistently. I'm enjoying playing on the Tour right now."

She dedicated Sunday's title to her cat, Rudi, who died two days ago.

"It was very hard to concentrate on the match after hearing the news."

Schnyder, who once been ranked as high as eighth in the world, and cracked the top 10 in 1998 when she captured five titles. But a year later she took up with a faith healer, separated herself from her family and friends, and appeared a shadow of the player that reached the quarterfinals at the French and U.S. Opens.

Ranked 44th heading into this week, Schnyder's best result of the year had been a final showing at the UNIQA Grand Prix in Vienna, Austria in July.

Nagyova was playing in her first final of the year and 11th of her career, but failed to take home her ninth singles crown. She has not won a tournament since claiming this event in 1997.

"It was a great week and a great tournament," Nagyova said. "I always enjoying come here - that's why I came back again this year."

The 22-year-old Slovakian said she was undone by Schnyder's excellent play and an upset stomach -- the same ailment that caused her to hand Tatiana Panova a walkover in the semifinals here last year.

"I tried my best but Patty played very well today. I also suffered from a stomach problem today - I don't know why it happened again."
 
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