$100,000 Cali - rain threatens
Rain played a big part on the days of the finals at the $100,000 Cali tournament having threatened all week to disrupt play. Having limited the on-court action in the Colombian city to a mere 2 ½ hours during the afternoon on the opening Monday the rest of the week saw any rainfall come late at night and during the early hours, that was until the doubles final, played on Friday, saw the rain interfere with play once more.
Thankfully though this delay only lasted for 1 hour and the Romanian pairing of Irina-Camelia Begu & Elena Bogdan, seeded fourth, took the title in a thrilling match having come from behind to defeat the Russian/German team of Ekaterina Ivanova & Kathrin Woerle 26 76(6) [11-9].
The rain stayed away on Saturday allowing the two singles semi finals, covered live on regional and national television and well attended by courtside spectators, to be played out without interruption. However, come Sunday and the day of the singles final, the rain made an unwelcome return.
Play was held up for some 3 hours at one stage and the rain again began to fall during the second set tie break. Already a set up and only needing to see out the tie break to take the title Begu did not allow this latest onset of rain to distract her and the Romanian soon added to her doubles title won on Friday by securing the singles title with a 63 76(1) triumph over Laura Pous-Tio, the Spanish 6th seed.
Begu, who had come into the main draw via the qualifying event, also had to contend with the rain during the trophy presentation ceremony, but this did little to dampen her spirits especially as her successes in both finals would see her climb to new career high WTA rankings of 140 in singles and 117 in doubles.
This event in the southwest of Colombia is the largest ITF Pro Circuit tournament staged on the South American continent, certainly in terms of prize money offered.
The tournament has seen a steady yearly growth in total prize money offered since the tournament made a return to the ITF Pro Circuit calendar in 2008, after an absence of just over six years, rising from $25,000 to the current $100,000.