French girl Celine lifts ITF singles title

Pune, Dec 25: French girl Celine Cattaneo outlasted Ukraine's Anna Shkudun to win the singles title at the NECC-ITF women's tennis championships event at the Deccan Gymkhana courts.

In a final lasting just under two-and-half hours, the 16-year-old sixth-seeded Cattaneo came back from being a set down to win 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 to lift her first USD 25,000 title of the year. Cattaneo (29) got 50 ranking points for her effort, as well as the winner’s prize of USD 2,900.

In a well contested match where long rallies was a regular feature, Shukudun started from where she had left of in her 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 win over Melis Sezer in the semi-final yesterday.

"I know I lose the first set and then win the match. I don’t know why. But I fight on court," Cattaneo said after the match. "I won a title in Delhi , and now here. This country is special for me, I love it," she added.

"It was a very tough match, and a tough tournament overall for me. I like this city, India, and hopefully next year I will be the winner here," the eighth-seeded Shkudun said. The Ukrainian broke Cattaneo in the first and third games to race to a 4-0 lead.

The French girl did manage to hold her serve after that, but Shkudun just had too much firepower from her backhand side to clinch the set 6-2 in less than half hour. 

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