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 winners 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 dont 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.