BEING THE top seed and defending champion has its pros and cons, Mara Santangelo of Italy en route to the final enjoyed luxury of pros. However, she realized the cons when she was put under tremendous pressure and lost 6-4, 6- 4 to unseeded and dark horse Yaroslava Shvedova of Russia in the singles final of the $ 1,75,000 tier III level Sony Ericsson Bangalore WTA event here at the Karanataka State Lawn Tennis Association Signature Kingfisher tennis centre on Sunday.
In the end it was the 19-year-old Russian, who scripted a fairytale, came out in flying colours when the 36 th ranked Italian’s backhand died in the net on the fifth match point at 5-4 in the second set after an hour and 35 minutes. Coincidentally the doubles final also lasted the same duration.
Playing in her fourth title, Shvedova showed determination, courage and great attitude to destroy Santangelo. Shvedova, who had three match points on Santangelo’s service, had to dig deep for her maiden title.
Shvedova will take home the prize money of $ 25,840 and 140 points, while Santangelo’s bank account will be credited by $ 13,520 and will gain 100 points.
Shvedova, who defeated Sania Mirza in the quarterfinals, started dropping her backhand bombs right from the word go. The 143 rd ranked player was in no mood to give up a single point and chased each and every point.
Her efforts were rewarded when Santangelo served a double fault to give a window of opportunity for crowd favourite in the third game. Shvedova fired her trademark backhand winner to go 2-1 up.
Santangelo managed to get back that break immediately in the next game when she started returning deep in the corner. A nervous Shvedova committed a double fault on break point. That was the only high point for Santangelo in the entire match.
However, the momentum was with Shvedova as she was comfortable on her own serves and got her incentive when she got another break in the seventh game.