Safina wins women's crown

SOPOT, Poland, July 27 (UPI) -- Russian qualifier Dinara Safina was leading sixth seed Henrieta Nagyova, 6-3, 4-0, when the Slovakian was forced to retire from Saturday's final due to a sprained left ankle, giving the 16-year-old her first career crown at the $681,000 Idea Prokom Open.

On the men's side, Argentina's Jose Acasuso upset No. 2 Carlos Moya in the semifinals, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), snapping the


Spaniard's 13-match winning streak. In Sunday's all-Argentine final, Acasuso meets Franco Squillari, who beat Hungary's Attila Savolt, 6-4, 6-3.

At the age of 16 years, three months, Safina is the youngest

winner on the WTA Tour in more than three years. Croatia's

Mirjana Lucic defended her Bol crown in May 1998 at the age of 16 years, one month and 24 days.

Safina, the younger sister of former ATP world No. 1 Marat Safin, earned a top prize of $50,000.

"At the start of the week, there was no way I was thinking I could win this title. I wasn't playing too well and I would have been happy just to qualify," Safina said. "But with each match, I had more and more confidence and for me this is amazing."


Safina also became the first qualifier in nearly two years to lift a tour trophy. Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria won the Pattaya title as a qualifier in November 1999.

With her triumph, the Moscow native will break into the top 100 in the WTA rankings for the first time on Monday.

After aggravating her injury in Friday's semifinal that she originally suffered at Wimbledon, the 23-year-old Nagyova was unable to collect her ninth WTA title. She has won three of her career crowns in Poland, taking the 1998 Sopot title and the 1996 and 2000 Warsaw events.

In the men's draw, the 26-year-old Moya, who was coming off consecutive tournament victories in the Bastad and Umag claycourt events, endured his first defeat on clay in almost two months. He fell to another Argentine, Guillermo Canas, in the third round of the French Open.

The Acasuso-Squillari final continues a great year for Argentine tennis. Guillermo Canas prevailed at Chennai, David Nalbandian triumphed at Estoril and Gaston Gaudio captured the Barcelona and Mallorca crowns.

Nalbandian also reached the Wimbledon final, one of seven occasions in 2002 that an Argentine has finished as the runner-up at an ATP event.

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