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Wickmayer grabs maiden title with Estoril win

UNSEEDED Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium captured her first WTA Tour title yesterday by beating Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-2 in the women's final of the Estoril Open in Oeiras, Portugal.

Wickmayer, 19, ranked 88th in the world, missed three set points in the 10th game but then broke Makarova's serve to love two games later to take the first set.

Wickmayer, who had an easy passage into the final when Israel's Shahar Peer retired during the first set of their semifinal, then broke Makarova's serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead.

The players then traded breaks before Wickmayer comfortably won the remaining two games.

It was another disappointing final for Makarova, who was also runner-up at the Grand Prix SAR in Morocco last month and is still looking for her first singles title.

In the men's semifinals later, second-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko faced fourth-seeded James Blake of the United States, and seventh-seeded Spaniard Albert Montanes met unseeded Paul Capdeville of Chile.

In Munich, Germany, Mikhail Youzhny rallied to overcome big-serving German wildcard Daniel Brands 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 yesterday and reach the final of the BMW Open.

In his first final in 16 months, the Russian will play either Tomas Berdych or Jeremy Chardy.

Brands had only played on the challenger circuit before receiving an invitation to the Munich claycourt event. He wasted four break points while leading 4-3 in the third set and then dropped his own serve in the next game to give Youzhny the decisive opening.

"He played very well and he served very well," Youzhny said. "When he is serving like that, he is almost impossible to break."

Youzhny reached his first final since winning a tournament in Chennai, India, in January 2008.

On Friday, fourth-seeded Czech Berdych rallied to outlast former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) while Frenchman Chardy upset second-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.


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