STRASBOURG, France, May 24 (UPI) -- Silvia Farina Elia stopped Croatian qualifier Karolina Sprem's surprising run Saturday and won her third straight Strasbourg Open tennis title.
The seventh-seeded Italian edged Sprem, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, in the final of the claycourt event - a final tune-up for the French Open, which begins on Monday.
Farina Elia has won all three of her career titles at this event. She will face Conchita Martinez Granados of Spain in the first round of the Freench Open.
The 31-year-old Farina Elia entered this week after consecutive first-round defeats at the German Open and Italian Open. Last month, she was forced to withdraw from Charleston and the following week's tournament at Amelia Island, Fla., due to a back and right leg injury, respectively.
Although Farina Elia continued her domination of this event, the story of the week was Sprem, who had not won a WTA Tour main draw match in her career.
The 18-year-old did gain a win in a Fed Cup tie last month, defeating Russian Elena Likhovtseva, but she lost in qualifying at Casablanca and Budapest. She entered the event in Bol earlier this month as a wild card, losing in the first round.
Sprem started 2003 by winning her first 28 matches and four tournaments on the ITF circuit. This week, she ousted top-seeded Yugoslavian Jelena Dokic in three sets Wednesday and upset sixth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the semifinals.