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Molik wins first WTA title

  |   Jan. 10, 2003 at 4:08 PM
HOBART, Australia, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Alicia Molik capped a brilliant two-week run Friday night with her first WTA Tour title.

Molik became the first Australian woman to win a tournament in eight years with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over second seed Amy Frazier of the United States in the final of the Moorilla International.

The unseeded 21-year-old from Adelaide, a seven-year veteran playing in her first career final, earned $16,000 by winning this Australian Open tune-up event. She plays Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan in the first round at the first Grand Slam of the year, which begins Monday at Melbourne.

Molik has played well thus far in 2003, defeating three higher-ranked players at the Hopman Cup before losing to world No. 1 Serena Williams in the final.

"Tonight's achievement is not the result of a fortnight's worth of hard work," Molik said. "It's been the result of a long hard slog over the last 24 months. It hasn't really sunk in yet that I've won, but I'm absolutely thrilled with the way I've played this week and now I'm just going to focus on playing well at the Australian Open."

The 94th-ranked Molik beat five higher-ranked players, including top seed Katarina Srebotnik, No. 5 Vera Zvonareva and No. 2 Frazier, to become the first Australian winner on tour since Nicole Bradtke won at Auckland in 1995.

Frazier was appearing in her 13th career final, but the 30-year-old could not add to her six titles, the last coming in 1999.

"I'm really happy with the way I played tonight," Frazier said. "The fact is she just played better."

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