Wickmayer too good for Cirstea in wet Kooyong final

Posted on January 13, 2017

Fans were thankful that Yanina Wickmayer and Romanian Sorana Cirstea were keen enough to wait for the rain to clear and play a set to decide the 2017 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic women’s title.

The Belgian took victory in the reduced match 6-4 against the world number 80 with some strong tennis from the backcourt despite a wet and windy afternoon in Melbourne.

“Well it was tough because we were inside the whole day waiting and I had a big practice already this morning as well,” Wickmayer told reporters after receiving the winner’s trophy.

“So it was tough to get into the rhythm and get into the match but I tried to do as good as I could and I tried to get my legs moving because that was pretty much the hardest part.

“I think we both did well going out there trying our best.”

It was the first time women had competed in the tournament at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in 23 years in a four-player field that featured Australian teenager Destanee Aiava.

“Yeah it was a very fun event,” Wickmayer added.

“The first time of course for the women in 20 years, it was very nice that I came here it’s a very nice club and place to play tennis.

“It’s the perfect event going in to the Australian Open next week so I was very happy I got invited and I’ve really loved my time here.”

The world number 59 who has been ranked as high as 12 in her career will now look to the first round of the Australian Open where she will play Lucie Safarova from the Czech Republic in the first round.

“Yes I have (played her before),” she said.

“Of course it’s a tough draw, she’s a tough opponent so it’s going to be tough but I’m going to do everything I can to prepare well and to be ready and play as good as I can.”

Cirstea was similarly glad to have any match-play practice on a centre court so close to a Grand Slam and was overall happy with how she hit the ball during her week at Kooyong.

“Yes definitely it was a very long day I was here from 12 o’clock but I was happy to play and I wish I could’ve played a whole match but I’m glad with the set,” she explained.

“It was quite quick I think with the wind and the weather but I think it turned out well.

“Definitely, this can only be very good because you play basically a match – of course it’s not like a tournament, but the fact you have a chair umpire, people watching, you’re on a big court.

“Everything is basically like a match and it gives you that tournament feeling.”

The 26-year-old ranked 80 in the world is feeling confident in her game ahead of her first Grand Slam match of the season Russian left-hander Irina Khromacheva at Melbourne Park next week.

“Yes I’ve seen her but I’ve never played her, but I’ve seen her around,” Cirstea said.

“I know she’s a leftie and has a good touch so I think these days every single match is tough, everyone is playing a level that is so high right now.

“No matter what I try to focus on my side of the court and hopefully that will get me the win.”

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