Updated: 01/10/2014 21:22 | By Agence France-Presse

Qualifier Pironkova beats Kerber for Sydney title

Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova crowned a stunning week of top ten scalps with a straight sets victory over fifth seed Angelique Kerber in the final of the Sydney International Friday.


Qualifier Pironkova beats Kerber for Sydney title

Tsvetana Pironkova hits a return during the women's singles final against Angelique Kerber in the Sydney International tournament on January 10, 2014

Pironkova, the world number 107, defeated her third top-ten ranked opponent of the week with a 6-4, 6-4 win in 96 minutes.

Pironkova became the first women's qualifier to win the Sydney International, one of the oldest tournaments in the world, for her maiden WTA title.

She reached her debut WTA final with a last four win over second seed Petra Kvitova after beating Italian third seed Sara Errani in the quarter-finals.

"Where do I start? Mum, dad, I have a trophy," the 27-year-old said in an emotional victory speech.

"When I know what I've been through, not only last season but throughout my career, it hasn't been easy for me," Pironkova said at her post-match media conference.

"This is something that I've been waiting for for so long and something that I've missed so much. Now that I finally have it, it's all surreal. I still cannot believe it, honestly.

"My mum and dad are the people that have always been with me. My dad is also my coach, so obviously he's very excited too."

The Bulgarian's powerful backhand constantly had the German left-hander under pressure and she finished the stronger despite playing her eighth match in eight days.

Pironkova broke Kerber's service six times and lost her serve four times in a physical contest between two big hitters on the women's circuit.

It was a draining week for the Bulgarian, who had her right thigh strapped and showing the effects of her heavy schedule as she heads to next week's Australian Open.

"Since the beginning of the match I was feeling pain, not only in my right thigh, but also in the left one. So I was just praying, please, God, let me finish this match," she said.

"I guess the adrenaline helps you to pull through it, because right now when I walk I feel like my legs are going to fall apart."

Pironkova will face Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa in the first round of the Open and is in the same half of the draw as top seed Serena Williams.

"I will need some time to recover considering that I have a few problems here and there," she said.

"I feel amazing, but going to the next tournament my body doesn't feel the greatest, but I think I have the right mindset and the confidence needed."

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。