Barthel wins title
AAP Saturday 14 January 2012 Be the first to comment »
Young German giant-killer Mona Barthel has added top seed Yanina Wickmayer to her stunning run at the Moorilla Hobart International, taking the final 6-1 6-2.
The 21-year-old world No.64 won her eighth straight match at the WTA tournament, progressing from qualifying to the final and beating the first, second, fourth and fifth seeds in the process.
Barthel won her first WTA title in her first final with a display of composure and precision, fittingly finishing the tournament with an ace after landing 82 per cent of her first serves in the decider.
Wickmayer appeared off colour from the start as Barthel flew out of the blocks, racing to a 4-0 lead in the first set before the Belgian got her first break.
That was all she got in the first, though, as the German broke her for the third time and then won her service game to love, converting her first set point with a sizzling forehand winner after just 20 minutes.
A Wickmayer comeback looked possible in the second set as she cranked up the power but her game remained erratic and Barthel added three more service breaks to her three from the first set.
When she broke for 5-2 with a precision cross-court forehand, all hope for the Belgian seemed gone as the young German served for the match.
Barthel had already beaten second seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, fourth seed Angelique Kerber and Australian fifth seed and defending champion Jarmila Gajdosova on her way to USD$37,000 in prize money.
She plays doubles partner and world No.75 Anne Keothavong in the first round of the Australian Open – and already has history on her side.
Notable former winners in Hobart include defending Open champion Kim Clijsters, ranked 43 when she won in 2000, and 2012 second seed Petra Kvitova.