Angelique Kerber claims maiden WTA Tour title
She beats Marian Bartoli in final of Paris Open
First German to win tournament since Steffi Graf in 1995
Serbia and Austria secure passage to Davis Cup last eight
Angelique Kerber became the first German since the great Steffi Graf to win the WTA Paris Open as she beat home hope Marion Bartoli in Sunday’s final.
Kerber battled past the second seed 7-6 5-7 6-3 to land her first career title after a superb week.
She knocked out top seed Maria Sharapova in Friday’s quarterfinals, her first-ever win over a top-10 player.
Graf won the corresponding tournament in 1995 and if World No.27 Kerber was to emulate her she would have to beat Bartoli for the first time in five meetings.
Kerber took the opener and led 3-0 in the second set until Bartoli battled back in typical style to level.
The 24-year-old Kerber again opened up a 3-0 advantage in the decider and this time held on to seal a memorable victory.
Her previous best performance was a beaten finalist in Bogota in 2010.
Meanwhile in the Davis Cup, Serbia reached the quarterfinals with a 4-1 win over Sweden despite missing World No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Janko Tipsarevic gave the 2010 winners an unassailable 3-1 lead with a 6-2 7-6 7-5 win over Michael Ryderstedt in the opening reverse singles.
Tipsarevic beat Filip Prpic in straight sets in Friday’s opening rubber and showed no signs of tiredness after playing in a five-set defeat in the doubles Saturday as Sweden cut the deficit to 2-1.
“I want to thank my team for standing by me through the thick and thin and this is also the best home crowd we have ever played for,” Tipsarevic said after his win in Belgrade.
Austria also reached the last eight of the team competition for the first time in 17 years as Jurgen Melzer beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. in straight sets to give them an unassailable 3-1 lead over Russia.
It has earned them a clash with defending champions Spain, who beat Kazakhstan in their World Group first round tie.