For the first time in her long career Nadia Petrova beat three Top 10 players in one tournament and won her 12th and most valuable WTA title by ousting Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
To make the victory even bigger, Petrova not only overcame tough matches (a three-hour battle against Petra Martic in the third round, a 6-4 4-1 deficit against Sara Errani in the quarterfinals, Grand Slam champion Samantha Stosur in the semis, and finally world No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska), but also a nagging back injury that forced her to withdraw from Seoul last week.
After storming through the first set in the title match against defending champion Radwanska 6-0, Petrova felt flat and lost the second set 6-1. At 4-3 for Petrova in the third set, Radwanska was 40-30 up on her serve, but two double faults cost her the game and soon after the match. Final score: 6-0 1-6 6-3.
The 30-year-old Petrova started her professional career 13 years ago, in 1999, but she still has the drive and ambition for greater heights:
There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don’t want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same.
(photo: © Neal Trousdale)