AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- After never winning a set from Chris Evert Lloyd, Zina Garrison captured two Sunday to defeat the weary No. 2 world-ranked player 6-4, 6-3 in the $250,000 Women's Tennis Association Championships.
Ninth-ranked Garrison trailed 4-1 early but won the next five games to take the first set from Evert Lloyd, who was tired from three-set singles and doubles matches last week.
'I was trying to end the points early,' Evert Lloyd said. 'I didn't want to stay out there for four hours. There was a point in the second set when I tried to reach down, but there was nothing there.
'That was the difference,' she said. 'But I have no excuses, Zina played better than she's ever played against me.'
In the second set, Evert Lloyd narrowed Garrison's 4-2 lead by bouncing back from 15-40 and winning the seventh game.
But she missed two chances to tie the set, and fourth seed Garrison took advantage of a long lob by Evert Lloyd to grab a 5-3 lead. In the next game, the tournament's top seed committed double faults to end the match.
'Chris has played a lot better matches than that,' Garrison said. 'I actually thought I had a good chance going into the match. My coach (John Wilkerson) did a good job of pumping me up. And my nieces and nephews back in Houston called me too before the match and I felt I had a lot of support.'
Evert Lloyd, who has won the tournament three times in the last five years, said the first few games of the match were strenuous.
'I definitely let it slip away,' she said. 'You have to expect something like that to happen if you enter singles and doubles.
'I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't played doubles. Zina deserves a lot of credit.'
Garrison pocketed $32,000 for her first tournament victory of the year.
'I didn't really believe it when it was over,' she said.