05 Mar 2014

Spotlight - Patricia Maria Tig - February 2014


By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Rowland Charles GoodmanPatricia Maria Tig (ROU)

February 2014

Romanian former WTA Top 400 ranked player, Patricia Maria Tig, is featured for this month.

The 19-year-old competed in two clay court tournaments in the Turkish city of Antalya over the opening two weeks of the month, a city she had enjoyed great success in during late 2013.

As the eighth seed in the singles event, Tig experienced little resistance as she eased into the semifinal on the back of straight sets victories over two qualifiers and the fourth seeded Sviatlana Pirazhenka from Belarus.

In the semifinal she took on her compatriot and number one seed Laura-Ioana Andrei and came through a tough three set battle 63 67(4) 76(5) to reach her first final of the year.

The final saw her up against seeded opposition for the third match running and third seeded Alyona Sotnikova took the opening set 75 as Tig fell behind for the first time this week.

The Ukrainian was, however, unable to build upon this lead and Tig rattled off quick-fire wins of 61 63 to take the title and remain undefeated in Antalya singles finals for the fourth successive final in which she had featured.

Her doubles campaign alongside Gabriela Talaba, also from Romania, only lasted two rounds. The pair only managed to take two games in a 62 60 defeat to the eventual runners-up and second seeds.

For her second and final tournament of the month, Tig was once again partnering Talaba and in the singles she was named the top seed in the qualifying event.

Tig had no trouble qualifying for the main event and quickly advanced to the second round with a 60 61 defeat of a fellow qualifier.

She then eliminated the number one seed, who was once again Laura-Ioana Andrei, as she had in the semifinal of the previous week. Although, like before, she required three sets to claim the win, this time it was a more convincing 60 46 62 score line.

Chinese qualifier Zhaoxuan Yang then looked to bring Tig’s title hunt to an end when edging a first set tiebreak 7-5 but Tig progressed to the semifinal when dropping just two games in the next two sets, both coming in the decider.

Seeded opposition in the shape of Slovakia’s Lenka Jurikova was then seen off 63 63 as Tig reached back-to-back singles finals for the first time in her career.

The day before she took to the court for the singles final, Tig and her partner Talaba were competing in their second career doubles final together. Their previous final also came in Antalya back in December 2013 and this one, just as it had then, unfortunately ended in defeat.

This latest doubles final loss leaves Tig searching for a second career doubles title having won just the once (in July 2012) in seven finals.

Tig still had an opportunity though to end her short month of competitive play on the ITF Pro Circuit on a high note when taking to the court for the singles final.

Her last four singles final appearances in Antalya had all seen her victorious and this latest, against Georgian Sofia Kvatsabaia, was to follow suit and with a 63 62 win Tig claimed her second title of the month.

Over her career, Tig now has competed in six Antalya singles finals, winning the last five, and in total has claimed seven titles from nine finals with all nine finals coming on her favoured clay surface.