15 Feb 2010

Russian Zvonareva defends Pattaya Open title

5:45 am on 15 February 2010

Russia's Vera Zvonareva made a successful defence of her Pattaya Open tennis title in Thailand after a tough 6-4 6-4 win over local favourite Tamarine Tanasugarn.

Zvonareva had a fierce battle with the tenacious Tamarine, who was inspired by the partisan home crowd and tested the Russian throughout a physical one hour, 51-minute match.

The world number 14 got off to an impressive start and raced to a 3-love lead but Tamarine soon clambered back into the match and piled the pressure on her opponent as the intense heat took its toll in the second set.

Zvonareva regained her composure after being frustrated by a series of contested line calls, fending off a late fightback to become the only player to retain the title at the 19-year-old tournament.