BARNSTAPLE, GREAT BRITAIN: The stage was set for an exciting final as Germany’s Annika Beck and Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou were set to meet for the second time in as many weeks in Barnstaple. The two players had faced each other just last week in an ITF Women’s Circuit tournament in Germany, the match going the way of the young German 12-10 in a final set tiebreak.
Sixth seed Daniilidou, who has been playing professionally for 16 years, was looking for revenge, whilst fifth seed Beck, who is 18 years old, was looking for her fifth singles title in as many months.
In front of over 500 spectators, with great support for both players, the first set of tennis did not disappoint. Both players moved each other round the court with groundstrokes struck corner to corner and drop shots thrown in to mix it up.
Beck found herself serving for the set at 5-4 and when Daniilidou broke serve it was evident that this was going to be a tough fight, something which Daniilidou has become used to in her matches at Barnstaple this week, winning all but one match in three sets. When the set reached a tiebreak it was the more experienced player that took the lead and claimed the first set 76(1).
In the second set it was Beck who took an early lead, looking determined to fight back and running down balls time and time again, giving nothing away. It was this determination that saw her maintain her lead and level the match securing the second set 62.
With the same focus Beck raced to a 5-1 lead in the third set and Daniilidou could not seem to find a way passed her. With Beck serving for the match, Daniilidou managed to claim back one break of serve to cheers from the crowd but the lead was too great and the German too focussed on the title. Beck broke again in the next game to seal victory and assure herself of a new career high ranking on Monday.
Reflecting on the final Beck said: “It was a very hard match for me, she was playing very well. She was playing a lot of slices and I couldn’t do so much with it. We have met each other two times before and it was as well three sets so I am very happy I find the better end to the match.
“I know how she plays, it was very hard and I am just happy that I could finish it like this. It is an amazing feeling for me.”