Petrova wins Gaz de France

Nadia Petrova came back from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday and win the Open Gaz de France.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Paris:Nadia Petrova came back from a set down to beat Lucie Safarova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday and win the Open Gaz de France. The Russian player won her seventh career title and first since beating Tatiana Golovin at Stuttgart, Germany, in October 2006. She had lost her two previous finals in straight sets, against Anna Chakvetadze at Moscow and Maria Sharapova at Linz, Austria. Safarova saved three match points, but Petrova clinched the win when the Czech's powerful forehand bounced out. "I'm going to celebrate tonight, for sure. I was the first to arrive and I am delighted to be the last to leave. I've been coming for several years and I really wanted to win," said Petrova. Aiming for a fourth career title, Safarova took the first set with a crosscourt forehand, which flew past Petrova. Early trouble Petrova looked to be in trouble early in the second set when Safarova broke immediately and led 40-0 on her own serve. But Petrova fought back to break Safarova three straight times in a dominant second set which saw her hit nine winners, while her opponent made 13 unforced errors. "I felt a bit tired and I had a shoulder problem which stopped me from serving as well. I was really hurting," Safarova said. Petrova broke Safarova in the third game after the Czech player sent a wild forehand long. After holding serve easily, Petrova broke Safarova again when she made another unforced error - a wild shot that landed well out. Petrova led 5-1 but showed nerves to lose three games and Safarova pulled back to 5-4. "In the last game, I understood that I could do nothing if I stayed on the baseline. I came to the net, and it worked pretty well for me." Petrova said. Serving for the match, Petrova saved two break points with a composed net volley and an ace. The 20-year-old Safarova beat three top 10 players to reach the final. "It's been a good week for me," Safarova said. "I've beaten players I dreamed of beating. This tournament gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season." However, Safarova said she'll skip the upcoming Diamond Games in Anvers, Belgium, because of shoulder pains.

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