Conchita Martinez Wins German Open
BERLIN (AP) _ Count Conchita Martinez among the contenders again.
The Spanish veteran, rising in the rankings again, captured her 32nd career title Sunday with an easy victory over Amanda Coetzer.
Martinez won the battle of 28-year-olds 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided match at the $1.08 million event by pounding the South African’s backhand with high topspin shots.
The 1994 Wimbledon champion, Martinez was overjoyed with the victory that lifted her to No. 3 in the Sanex WTA Tour rankings to be released on Monday. The Spaniard ousted Martina Hingis in Saturday’s semifinal on her way to winning the event for the second time.
Martinez had a much tougher time winning the doubles title, teaming with fellow Spaniard Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to edge Coetzer and American Corinne Morariu 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7).
``I’ve been playing outstanding this year,″ said Martinez. ``I’m incredibly happy. I’ve had two lean years where I didn’t win any big tournaments. Now I’ve won this tournament and beaten the No. 1.″
There was little drama in Sunday’s match, with Martinez gaining early breaks in each set before backing up Coetzer with her high shots at match point, then hitting a volley winner.
On Sunday, both Martinez and Hingis said they will skip next week’s Italian Open because of injury.
Hingis suffered an ankle injury during the 5-7, 4-6 loss to Martinez.
``I had an X-ray and the doctor told me that I would have to rest my foot for a week or so. My main goal is to be 100 percent for the French Open,″ Hingis said.
The Swiss teen-ager lost her No. 1 ranking again to Lindsay Davenport when she failed to reach the German Open final.
Martinez showed no signs of a strained tendon in her right foot that she suffered playing doubles Saturday.
``I really feel like I have to take care of my body,″ said Martinez. ``I’ve been playing two months without a break. I want to be ready for the French Open.″
While the Italian Open has now been hit with withdrawals, the German Open’s tournament director blasted the Sanex WTA and marketing company IMG in a special press conference for providing a field that included only Hingis among the top players.
``A field like this year can’t happen again,″ said Eberhard Wensky. ``Our partners (WTA and IMG) let us down.″
Russia’s Anna Kournikova, who lost her first match, was the only player to fill up the center court stands.
Martinez, who has been ranked as high as second in the world, now has won a tournament 12 of the 13 years she has been on the WTA Tour.
She claimed $166,000 for her victory and ran her record to 14-3 against Coetzer.
Martinez reached the semifinals at the Australian Open this year, her best Grand Slam tournament showing since reaching the final of the same event in 1998.
She also advanced to two other tournament finals this year, losing the Australian Hardcourt to Silvija Talaja and the Bausch & Lomb Championships to Monica Seles.