WICHITA, Kan. -- A player unaccustomed to winning titles defeated a Soviet playing her first major-tournament final to win the $75,000 Virginia Slims of Kansas tennis tournament.
Barbara Potter, who lost only one set in the tournament, Sunday defeated Larisa Savchenko, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) to win the championship.
Potter, the top seed, won her first tournament since the summer of 1985. Savchenko, the 31-year-old second seed, was playing for the first time in the final of a major tournament.
Neither player broke serve. Potter took the first set on Savchenko's double fault in the tie-breaker. Potter then won the match in the second-set tie-breaker, hitting a blistering forehand down the line.
'This match was a matter of survival,' said Potter, 25, of Woodbury, Conn. 'We both played pretty air-tight tennis the whole way. I was getting a little tired toward the end of the second set. I'm glad it didn't go to a third.'
Both players are ranked among the top 30 in the world. However, for Savchenko, the top women's player in the Soviet Union, the tournament marked her finest hours of tennis.
'I think I'm playing as well as I've ever played,' she said. 'I had problems with her spin serve to my forehand, but in the end, just two balls were the difference in the match.'
Potter received $15,000 and Savchenko $6,400. Later Sunday, Savchenko paired with compatriot Svetlana Parkhomenko to capture the doubles championship, defeating Potter and Wendy White, 6-2, 6-4.