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Dulgheru takes title on debut

ROMANIAN qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru beat eighth-seeded Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-0 to win the Warsaw Open on her WTA Tour debut.

In a match twice interrupted rain and plagued by strong wind, the 19-year-old Dulgheru used an array of groundstrokes and drop shots on the red clay to break the 2007 runner-up eight times overall in Warsaw, the capital of Poland.

Bondarenko had two chances to serve out the first set but couldn't capitalize, with Dulgheru breaking to force a tiebreaker.

The 39th-ranked Bondarenko rallied with two breaks in the second to lead 4-0 before the match was delayed for about 25 minutes due to rain.

Dulgheru, ranked No. 201, picked up an early break to lead 2-0 in the final set before rain again forced the players from the court. After returning about 10 minutes later, Dulgheru reeled off four straight games to close it out.

In Strasbourg, France, Aravane Rezai beat Czech Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (2), 6-1 in the final of the Strasbourg International yesterday to win her first WTA Tour title.

Rezai is the first Frenchwoman to win at Strasbourg, where past winners include Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

The 79th-ranked Rezai saved eight break points in the first set, rallying from 3-5 down as Hradecka wasted a chance to serve out the opener.

Rezai won six consecutive games in the second set and closed it out on her fifth match point.

Both players are in the draw for the French Open, which starts today. Rezai faces Ai Sugiyama of Japan, while Hradecka takes on Austrian qualifier Yvonne Meusburger.

In Duesseldorf, Germany, newcomer Serbia clinched the World Team Cup yesterday after winning both its singles matches against Germany.

Janko Tipsarevic gave Serbia its second, winning point when he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4 for an unassailable 2-0 lead with the doubles rubber remaining.

Tipsarevic carved out two breaks in the first set and another in the second to beat the world No. 31 and clinch the title for his country on its first appearance in the team tournament. The Serbs, who had won all three group matches, grabbed the lead when Viktor Troicki edged past Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 7-6 (5).


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