Erakovic wins historic Memphis title

Erakovic wins historic Memphis title

MEMPHIS - Agence France-Presse
Erakovic wins historic Memphis title

Sabine Lisicki, of Germany, returns a shot to Magdalena Rybarikova, of Slovakia, in a semifinal round tennis match at the U.S. National Indoor Championships on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Memphis, Tenn. Lisicki won 7-5, 7-5, advancing to the championship match against Marina Erakovic, of New Zealand. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Marina Erakovic became the first New Zealander since 1989 to win a WTA title on Feb. 23, lifting her first career trophy with a truncated triumph over third-seeded German Sabine Lisicki in Memphis.

Erakovic confidently raced to a 6-1 first-set victory, and the title was hers when the struggling Lisicki retired.

The big-hitting German had been battling an undisclosed illness for several days.

Erakovic, who was runner-up to Sofia Arvidsson in Memphis last year, fired four aces and converted both of her break point opportunities in racing through the first set in 27 minutes.

Her run to the championship match had included a second-round revenge victory over Arvidsson. While she was sorry the match didn’t go the distance she still savored her first WTA crown, which she said she planned to celebrate by going sky-diving with her coach.

“This is my first title and unfortunately it did go like this,” she said. “But Sabine congratulations. I hope we really do play a lot more finals in the future.”

The last New Zealander to win a WTA title was Belinda Cordwell in Singapore in 1989.