Kirilenko conquers Sunfeast Open in regale style

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Kolkata, Sep 23 (UNI) Fourth Seed Maria Kirilenko clinched her second singles title winning the third edition of WTA Sony Ericsson Tier III Sunfeast Open defeating Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine 6-0, 6-2 in just over an hour here today.

In a slam-dunk final, Maria not only grounded the unseeded surprise finalist Koryttseva in two straight sets, but also gave her a few lessons in tennis.

As Koryttseva's forehand landed wide, Kirilenko broke into a huge smile as she realized that her long wait for her second WTA title has finally come to an end.

Russian romped to a rather one-sided victory, but it displayed the difference between the world No 35 and the world No 164.

Kirilenko's only WTA tour title before the Sunfeast Open had been in 2005 in Beijing. There, as an unheralded player she made her way to the semi-final where she ran into none other than world No. 1 Maria Sharapova. Trailing 1-6, 2-4, Sharapova retired suffering from a muscle strain and Kirilenko made it to the final to eventually win the tournament.

After the match Kirilenko, who won the Beijing title on another Sunday two years back, said, ''Its been a great week. I didn't expect the final to be so easy, but we had three hard games. I am thankful for all the support I got. I will come back here next year.'' Then turning to her father and coach Eric, she said, ''We are going to win many more trophies this year.'' Kilirenko signed up Eric van Harpen at the beginning of this year and ever since her ranking has improved. She has defeated Jelena Jankovich in San Diego, Marion Bartoli in Los Angles and now Daniela Hantuchova this year.

''Ever since I signed up with Eric (van harpen) my game has improved. He understands my game and I understand what he is trying to say. So we get along very well. I think we will do well,'' she said.

The way Kirilenko was playing, Koryttseva not only found it difficult to tackle the whiplash forehands from her but also her agility and court presence.

No matter where she placed the ball, the Russian was there. In the you-blink-and-its-gone first set, Kirilenko broke Mariya in the second, fourth and sixth games.

The last point that gave her the first set was extra special.

After setting up Koryttseva with a barrage of forehands to the right corner of the court, she let go a back-hand with loads of backspin.

Koryttseva lunged a return that fell wide as expected.

When Mariya Koryttseva had come here seven days back, she was a traveller on WTA tour wanting to get out of Kharkov. Out here it was like living a dream. For someone who has never reached a single WTA quarter-final ever, the Sunfeast Open 07 final was like living a dream. To make it to the doubles final was a bonus.

The whole dream came back, when Mariya broke Kirilenko in the first game of the second set with a couple of passing shots and then held her own. But as they say dreams die fast. And in the rude awakening that she got Kirilenko took the next six games including three breaks to give her an education in tennis.

Koryttseva, was gracious in defeat, said, ''She showed me some nice shots. I will study them and try them. I made too many errors.

The muscle was also a little stiff affecting my backhand. But that is no excuse. I lost to a great player.'' While Kirilenko goes to Seoul from here, Koryttseva heads to Tashkent.

In the doubles final top seeded pair American Vaniaking and Russian Alla Kudryavtsuva beat Alberta Brianti of Italy and Ukraine's Maria Koryttseva 6-1, 6-4 to clinch the Sunfeast Open Doubles crown.

UNI

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