18 Sep 2008

Greek $100,000+H tournament comes to an end

News Article

Photo: Studio Kominis$100,000 Athens - finalists and Directors

Two years after winning her last singles title in Bogotá, Lourdes Dominguez Lino was celebrating once again. The world No. 114 from Spain defeated Sorana Mihaela Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 and raised the trophy of the “VOGUE Athens Open 2008”, the $100,000+H ITF Women’s Circuit tournament. Her victory, along with close to $15,000 in prize money, gained her 75 WTA ranking points and increases her ranking to 89.

The final, played on the main court of the Athens Lawn Tennis Club, was sensational, keeping tennis fans on the edge of their seat. The two rivals, who had each recorded one victory over the other in the past, played to a high standard in their attempt to win the title. Dominguez Lino played her game at the baseline and she did not panic when Cirstea soon moved into a 3-1 lead and she soon brought the match to a tie, taking advantage of her opponent’s mistakes, finally winning the set 6-4 after 45 minutes.

The second set started with breaks from both players in quick succession. With the score level at 2-2, the match stayed with serve until game nine, when Dominguez Lino broke her opponent once again. She then served out the match, winning the set 6-4, to kick-start the celebrations

Cirstea commented, “I did not play as well as I did in the previous tournament matches. I did not have a clear mind at the critical points. I tried to put pressure on her, but I lost through my own mistakes. I had a good time throughout the week and I am seriously considering coming back to Athens next year.”

The doubles title offered some comfort to Cirstea. Pairing with Galina Voskoboeva from Russia, they won the final defeating Kristina Barrois and Julia Schruff, both from Germany, 6-2, 6-4. At the beginning of the second set, Schruff picked up an injury and had to seek medical assistance. Despite being diagnosed with a sprained right ankle, she bravely elected to continue with the match – but it was clear that she could no longer play as well as she did before. In victory Cirstea and Voskoboeva collected, as a pair, over $5,000 in prize money.

Mr. Vasilis Kikilias, Chairman of the Youth and Sports Organization of the Municipality of Athens presented the awards to the doubles finalists, while Mr. Takis Arapoglou, Chairman and Managing Director of the National Bank of Greece presented the awards to the singles finalists.

Winners and losers alike have said that they will try to come back to Athens next year. Cirstea was swamped with flowers; in fact, she was offered so many, that Voskoboeva jokingly told her: “Now you can set up a florist’s business.”

At the prize-giving ceremony, Mr. Antonis Liberis, thanked all those who worked together in order to ensure the success of the tournament. He extended his special thanks to the sponsors and to the people who attended the event, in spite of the heat. “I want to believe that this was only a beginning and that the top players will be attracted to Athens in the future,” said Mr. Liberis.

In his address, Mr. Alexis Zitridis, Tournament Director, thanked all his associates and especially the volunteers who numbered more than 100. “We would like the players to leave Athens with the best memories, so we did our best for them. And we promise there will be even better tournaments in the future,” said Mr. Zitridis.

Last but not least, Mr. Pavlos Apostolidis, Chairman of the Athens Lawn Tennis Club, congratulated the players and the fans for their presence in the tournament, inviting all to attend a rendezvous at the next tournament to be held on the Club’s courts.