Russia’s Hantuchova lifts the title in Patayya and German’s Kerber surprises Bartoli in Paris.
The Slovakian beat Maria Kirilenko in three sets in Thailand, while the German overpowered Bartoli, who was second seed in the series. WTA number 20, Daniela Hantuchova, picked up the title in Patayya after beating Maria Kirilenko in three sets (7-6, 3-6, 3-6), in an encounter that lasted three hours and 14 minutes.
The Slovak conceded her first set of the tournament at the beginning of the final, but bounced back to win the next two and cap off a fantastic week in which she also beat Hsieh Su-wei in the semi-finals. For her part, Kirilenko reached the final in a more complicated fashion, needing to go to the third set in three of the four previous rounds. Hantuchova reclaimed the title in Patayya, an honour she also won in 2011 after beating Italy’s Sara Errani (6-0, 6-2).
Elsewhere, there was a big surprise in Paris. Germany’s Angelique Kerber triumphed in the French tournament against all odds after starting the contest as number nine seed. In a dream week for her, Kerber defeated Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals (4-6, 4-6), eliminated Wickmayer over three hard-fought sets and disposed of Marion Bartoli (tournament second seed) in the final 7-6, 5-7, 6-3.
The tournament was notably diminished after the first round eliminations of Li Na (third seed), Jelena Jankovic (fourth) and Sabine Lisicki (fifth). Spain’s Anabel Medina lost in the first round to France’s Wild Card entrant, Parmentier. All these upsets helped the 24-year-old German secure her first WTA title. Kerber had reached a final before, in Bogota in 2010, but lost it to Mariana Duque.