Smashnova repeats at Budapest

Play in the second set was inconsistent, with the rivals breaking each other's serve in five of the first seven games.

By
July 31, 2006 01:53
4 minute read.
smashnova hitting ball 298.88

smashnova hitting ball . (photo credit: AP)

Anna Smashnova won her 12th career WTA Tour title Sunday and became the first player to successfully defend the Budapest Grand Prix trophy, defeating Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 6-1, 6-3 in Sunday's final. The eighth-seeded Smashnova, ranked No. 63, took a 3-0 lead before Dominguez Lino (45) won her only game in the first set. Play in the second set was inconsistent, with the rivals breaking each other's serve in five of the first seven games. Up 5-3, the 30-year-old Israeli again broke Dominguez Lino's serve to win the match. Smashnova produced her usual defensive game, but also made some fine drop shots and volleys. "I'm really happy to be here and win again. It was tough - not as easy as the score suggests," Smashnova said. "I'm really glad to get through this whole week. I was patient during the match and fought for each point." Smashnova, who has never lost in a tournament final, hadn't won a WTA Tour event since lifting the Budapest title last year. She pocketed $22,900 in winnings and 95 rankings points, which replace the 95 points she took last year and will keep here within a few rungs of her current ranking. Budapest was the last clay court event of the summer, with the focus now switching to hardcourts in the buildup to the US Open. Smashnova traveled from Hungary to California, where she is scheduled to compete this week at the Acura Classic in San Diego. She was drawn to open against a still to-be-determined qualifier. Shahar Pe'er, also set to play this week in San Diego, faces a more difficult draw. Pe'er will open against Argentina's Gisela Dulko (33), with No. 5 seed Patty Schnyder (8) awaiting the winner. Pe'er, Dulko and Schnyder will all arrive in San Diego together after taking part in the finals later Sunday at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California. Pe'er and German partner Anna-Lena Groenefeld were scheduled to face Dulko and Maria Elena Camerin of Italy in the doubles final, after Schnyder played Kim Clijsters in the singles final. Pe'er and Groenefeld reached the doubles Saturday with a come-from behind win over Marion Bartoli of France and Poland's Marta Domachowska. Pe'er and Groenefeld, seeded third, needed nearly three hours to beat Bartoli and Domachowska 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(6). The No. 4 seeds, Camerin and Dulko, ousted American Bethanie Mattek and Indian Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday's other semifinal. Pe'er, who had her best success to date teaming with Bartoli earlier this year, also played two matches with Camerin at the qualifying event for Amelia Island in April. On Saturday, Pe'er and Groenefeld staved off what seemed like certain defeat numerous times towards the end. Down 6-5 in the final set with Bartoli and Domachowska serving for the match, the Israeli/German duo broke on love to send the match to a deciding tiebreaker. They then ran out to a 3-1 lead, but disaster seemed to strike as Bartoli and Domachowska reeled off five consecutive points for a 6-3 lead and three match points. However, Pe'er and Groenefeld dug in deep, fought off the match points and continued on until clinching victory. Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich return to action for the first time since Israel's Davis Cup win over Great Britain at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, DC. Ram and Erlich, seeded third, open against American wildcards Stott Oudsema and Sam Querrey. Ram (662) took part in the singles qualifying on Saturday, losing in the first of three rounds to Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (516) of India 6-4, 7-5. Young Ishay Hadash (520) also tried his luck at the Washington qualifiers, winning his first-round match 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 over American Benjamin Boyajian (unranked), before retiring with an injury as he trailed 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 against Sadik Kadir (480) of Australia in his second match. Calleri claims second ATP titleat Generali Open Agustin Calleri claimed his second career title by beating Juan Ignacio Chela 7-6 (9), 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in an all-Argentine final at the Generali Open in Kitzbuehel, Austria. The ninth-seeded Calleri had to fight off three set points before winning the first set. He broke Chela twice in the second and won six games in a row. The seventh-seeded Chela rallied from 2-0 down in the third to level the score, but couldn't come back from another service break. Once ranked 16 but now No. 59, Calleri relied on his strong service - including 11 aces - and attacking ground strokes to wrap up the victory. "It really feels great to add a second title," the 29-year-old said. "It was hard to play good friend Juan in the final, as we know each others game very well. My self-confidence and my concentration helped me a lot today." Calleri now has won nine of 12 official matches against 44th-ranked Chela. He's the third Argentine winner in the last four years at Kitzbuehel, following Guillermo Coria in 2003 and Gaston Gaudio in 2005. He had appeared in six ATP finals before, winning just one in Acapulco in 2003. Before the winners ceremony, Calleri scribbled well wishes on his T-shirt to his wife, who is to give birth soon. Calleri could be the last winner of the Generali Open, as insurance company Generali Group is weighing whether to continue its sponsorship of the €646,250 tournament. A decision is expected in the next couple of weeks. AP contributed to this report.


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