Myskina wins first all-Russian WTA final

Myskina wins first all-Russian WTA final
By Reuters

17/02/2003 at 09:18Updated

Anastasia Myskina lifted the Qatar Open title after beating Elena Likhovtseva 6-3 6-1 in the first all-Russian final ever on the WTA Tour on Sunday.

RESULTS: All the info from Doha

Myskina, the world number 11 and second seed, outplayed her more experienced rival to clinch her third Tour title after her fifth-seeded compatriot played some careless shots.

The victory underlined how far 21-year-old Myskina has come in the last year after she climbed nearly 50 places in the world rankings from 59 at the end of 2001 to 11 at the end of 2002.

"I'm very happy that I won the title. This was just my third title on the tour and I attach lot of importance to this victory," Myskina said.

"The field here in Doha was quite tough, but the final match turned out to be easier than I expected," she added.

Myskina attacked from the start and put Likhovtseva in deep trouble with a potent mixture of power and accuracy during a display in which she never relaxed her grip on the match.

Myskina broke again in the eighth before Likhovtseva had a chance to break back in the ninth. However, the younger Russian nailed a winner down the line and held serve to take the set.

In the second set, Myskina showed an attractive brand of attacking tennis and broke Likhovtseva in the first, fifth and seventh games to wrap up the set and the title.

Likhovtseva said she could not match the wit and will of Myskina and that her opponent had played much better than her.

"Myskina played a much superior game and dominated the match. Also I made quite a lot of mistakes," she said.