Kirilenko claims WTA win in Thailand

Feb. 3, 2013 at 8:58 AM
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PATTAYA, Thailand, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Maria Kirilenko won a third-set tiebreaker Sunday in defeating Sabine Lisicki and winning the WTA's PTT Pattaya Open tennis tournament in Thailand.

Kirilenko, the No. 2 seed, stopped Lisicki 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) for her sixth WTA title but first since a win in Seoul in 2008.

Sunday's win broke a string of four consecutive losses in finals appearances -- a run that included a runner-up finish at Pattaya last year -- for Kirilenko. She is 6-6 in WTA title matches. Lisicki slipped to 3-3 in tournament finals.

Lisicki, seeded fifth, took a tight first set with a late break but Kirilenko evened the match by winning about two-thirds of the points -- including all three of her break chances -- in the second.

Kirilenko continued her strong play in the third set, building leads of 3-0 and 5-2 but Lisicki breaks in the ninth and 11th game put her up 6-5. Kirilenko responded with a break at love, forcing the tiebreaker.

Kirilenko took the first two points in the tiebreaker and, after Lisicki won one, ran off five straight points to even the match.

Kirilenko collected $40,000 along with the title and Lisicki's runner-up check was for $20,000.

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