Daniilidou tops Sugiyama for Korea Open title

Updated: October 1, 2006, 1:03 PM ET
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- Eleni Daniilidou of Greece held on for a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (3) win over fourth-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the Korea Open final Sunday to earn her fourth WTA singles title.

Down 4-5 in the deciding set, Daniilidou took three match points from Sugiyama to ultimately force the tiebreaker. Daniilidou had a leg cramp and collapsed to the court during the tiebreaker. After a medical time-out, she took all but one point for the win.

"I tried to play the tiebreaker as aggressively as I could. The key was to go for it," Daniilidou said. "It was my mistake not calling the physio [earlier]. Ai is a fighter, I had to play very precise."

The Korea Open title is Daniilidou's first hard-court win over Sugiyama in four attempts. Sugiyama leads their head-to-head meetings 4-3 and last defeated Daniilidou at the French Open in June.

"The first set, I tried to do what I had to do, but she was hitting the ball deep and pushing me off the court. The second set, I think she got a bit tired," said Sugiyama. "I knew she was hurt. It was not easy to play normal. She was still hitting the ball really good."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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