Marina Erakovic wins first WTA title

DAVID LONG
Last updated 15:36 24/02/2013
Marina Erakovic
ALEX SMITH/Memphis Tennis

ON TARGET: Kiwi Marina Erakovic faces off against Germany's Sabine Lisick in Memphis.

Marina Erakovic
WTA
WINNER: Marina Erakovic with her trophy.

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Marina Erakovic has won her first ever Women's Tennis Association title, beating Germany's Sabine Lisicki in Memphis today.

The match only lasted one set with Erakovic taking it 6-1 and Lisicki unable to start the second because of illness.

Erakovic becomes the first New Zealander since Belinda Cordwell in Singapore in 1989 to win a WTA title.

While the nature of the match may have taken some of the shine of winning a final, Earkovic's achievement shouldn't be understated, she had played superbly during the week and beaten top quality players like last year's champion Sofia Arvidsson and Jamie Hampton who had been in superb form this year.

There were no signs of any sickness with Lisicki as the match began.

Erakovic started confidently, comfortably holding serve while Lisicki was not so assured, serving a double fault early and she was broke in the fourth game to go down 1-3.

Following another good service game from Erakovic where she was putting down big serves and finishing the point by ripping through a forehand she broke again and then completed the set by serving four aces in a row.

Lisicki called for the doctor at the change of ends and looked close to tears as she explained what was wrong with her. After a couple of minutes she stood up and went over to Erakovic to shake hands.

The New Zealander looked quite stunned first of all, but then the realisation of what she had achieved sunk in.

It means that Erakovic is the last ever winner of this Memphis tournament as it is being moved to Rio next year.

After receiving her trophy, which is a glass, guitar shaped tennis racquet and having her name unveiled on the wall of champions on centre court, Erakovic said how delighted she was to win, despite Lisicki having to pull out.

"This is my first title and unfortunately it did go like this, but Sabine, congratulations. I hope we play a lot more finals in the future," Erakovic said during the on court presentation.

"I am really happy, a lot of work and effort has gone into this. I'd like to thank my family and "I am sad that this event is going but fingers crossed it will come back.

"I would like to thank my coach Chris [Zahalka], we have been together for a few years now and we do a really good job.

"We have a good time and we made a bet that if we win a WTA title we are going to jump out of a plane, so yay!"

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