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Tennis - 06. March 2011.

Jubilations as Dokic reaches BMW Malaysian Tennis Open Final

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Singles - Semifinals
(5) Lucie Safarova (CZE) d. (4/WC) Jarmila Groth (AUS) 62 36 63
Jelena Dokic (AUS) d. Michaella Krajicek (NED) 62 63

Doubles - Semifinals
Lertcheewakarn/Moore (THA/AUS) d. Lu/Xu (CHN/CHN) 76(3) 16 103

It has taken Jelena Dokic eight long years to reach a final of a WTA event. And no wonder she cried out in jubilation, raising her hands to the sky, as if thanking the heavens for her good fortune at the BMW Malaysian Open 2011.


Dokic defeated The Netherland’s Michaella Krajicek 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur


The last time Dokic made the final of a WTA event was in Zurich 2003, when she was beaten in the final by Justin Henin. And for her last WTA title, one will have to go back to 2002, where she triumphed in the Accura Classics in San Diego, where she defeated Jennifer Capriati.


 “It is good to be back to winning ways. I am happy that I have made it all the way to the final of this tournament,” said a pleased Dokic.


“From early on in the match I knew that my opponent had come on court with an aggressive playing strategy. To counter my opponent’s playing style and strategy, I changed it up a lot where my game was concerned to keep her guessing and unsettle her. I was serving well and I managed to hold my serve while preventing her from playing her game.”


Dokic will play either Jarmila Groth of Australia or Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic in the final tomorrow.


“No matter who I play in the final, I am very happy to have made it to the final, and for me things can only get better from here. I will prepare for the final accordingly, and I will be focused on my game, just like how I have been in my other matches leading up to the final”.


The start of the match was delayed by slightly more than an hour, but once Dokic got going, there was no stopping her.


The duo had never met on the tour, and it was obvious that Dokic used her vast experience to her utmost advantage.

Krajicek, who opted to serve having won the toss, had a nervous start as she lost the initial few rallies to hand Dokic a 40-15 lead in the first game, but rallied to take a 1-0 lead after fighting back.


Dokic though had no such problems with her serve and went on to serve out the second game easily to draw level at 1-1.


A disputed line call cost Krajicek to lose her concentration and she conceded the second game to allow Dokic an early break and take a 2-1 lead.

Dokic held serve and a disjointed Krajicek then dropped her serve to hand the Australian a 4-1 lead.


With Dokic leading 5-1 and Krajicek down 15-40 on her serve, it seemed to be all over but the Dutch managed to pull her act together and reduced the deficit to 5-2. Dokic then wrapped up the first set with an ace in just 30 minutes.

It was the same story in the second set as both players held their first serves but Dokic hit winners along the sidelines to break the serve of Krajicek and take a 2-1 lead.


It was clear that Krajicek was having problems with her serve and was struggling handling the serves of her opponent.


The sixth game proved crucial as Krajicek was on the verge of breaking serve and drawing level. But Dokic preserved to take a 4-2 lead with some great passing shots.

Dokic held serve and the pressure was on Krajicek as she served to stay in the match. And two unforced errors from Krajickek presented Dokic with her first match point and she duly took hit, raising her arms in triumph even before the return from her opponent landed wide at the baseline.


In the doubles event, the crack pairing of Thai lass Noppawan Lertcheewakarn and Aussie Jessica Moore prevailed over Chinese duo Lu Jing-Jing and Xu Yi Fan, posting a 7-6, 6-1, 10-3 win. With this win, Lertcheewakarn is the only Asian player left in the competition, along with her Oceania partner Moore.


“Our semifinal game plan hinged on crunch points and we played well. In the tie breaker we took our chances and our decision paid off”, said Moore.

Lertcheewakarn added, “I did not feel well going into the match but we play well together so our good run continues to the final, which is our first WTA final. This is only our second time playing together, and based on what we’ve learnt so far, we seem to be playing a lot of three set matches but we manage to compose ourselves, get our act together, and still come out as winners.


“Our opponents in the final are tough opponents and we have never played them before, but from what we have seen, they have had some close shaves so far in their matches leading up to the final, so we will be bent on serving well in the final, hold our serve, and when it comes to deuce, we will try to play on points as well as we can”, commented Lertcheewakarn.


The BMW Malaysian Open 2011, a leg of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour –  The world’s leading professional sport for women is being held from 28th February to 6th March 2011 at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort. The tournament has 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams’ competing in a knockout style competition for the prize purse of USD 220,000.00.


Tickets for the tournament can be obtained from TicketPro through their website at www.ticketpro.com.my or by calling +603 7880 7999. For ticket prices and other information log on to the official website of the tournament at www.bmwmalaysianopen.com.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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