2004 Zurich WTA Women's Singles Results-- Alicia Molik, Champion


  WTA Oct. 17-24

Swisscom Challenge, Zurich, SUI Tier I
$1,300,000 - 28 players - indoor: hard

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s3 # 6 Elena Dementieva
s4 # 7 Maria Sharapova
s6 # 11 Vera Zvonareva
Tourney pages: Zurich: 2005 - 2003
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#18 Alicia Molik
5'11", 159 lbs, RH, 1H-BH
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3rd WTA singles title
1st Tier I

    On Sunday in Zurich in the final of the Swisscom Challenge, 23-year-old # 18 Alicia Molik of Australia scored the biggest win of her career, defeating 17-year-old # 7 Maria Sharapova of Russia 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 (Alicia is shown after match point, and holding the hardware). This made Alicia the 1st Australian to ever win a WTA Tier I title.

    Alicia said: "I'm proud of the fact that I stuck to my game plan. I kept going for my shots and serves and I was meeting Maria shot for shot from the baseline. I have to thank my coach David Taylor for giving me such great support. He encourages me and treats me the same whether I lose first round or win the title, and I think that's good for me not to play with any external pressure. It allows me to play freely and loose and I think that's been a big reason I've played so well this season."

    Maria said: "The shoulder was a little sore during the match and I'm sad that I wasn't able to give 100 percent today, but I'm not here to make excuses. Full credit to Alicia for having a great week. She beat a lot of tough players here so she fully deserves this title. This isn't a serious injury - I'm going to take a few days to rest the shoulder and prepare for the rest of the season."

    Alicia and Maria had played only once before, earlier this year on grass in Birmingham, England, where Maria won 6-3, 6-1 on her way to winning the tourney. Maria has been playing very well recently, having won 11 straight matches and 2 consecutive titles coming into this final, so Alicia is playing very well indeed.

    23-year-old Alicia Molik is having the best year of her career. Born in Adelaide, Alicia resides in Melbourne, Australia's tennis capital. She has now won 3 WTA singles titles, including this year in Stockholm (where Bjorn Borg showed up to hand her the trophy), and last year in Hobart, Tasmania. Alica won the Olympic bronze medal this year in Athens, and also has reached 2 grand slam finals in mixed doubles the past 2 years. Alicia wears adidas garb and swats her very powerful serve with a Dunlop bat. Alicia is coached by David Taylor.

    17-year-old Maria Sharapova has won 6 WTA singles titles in 7 finals: this year at Wimbledon, Birmingham, Seoul, and Tokyo, and last year at Tokyo and Quebec City. Maria wears Nike togs and chops with a Prince axe. Born in Nyagan, in the Siberian region of Russia, she started at the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida at age 7, and still has a residence near there. Maria spends time in California also, where she is coached by Robert Lansdorp, who helped Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras perfect their strokes.
Sharapova career record - Maria Sharapova Wallpaper - MariaWorld (many photos) - 2003 interview of Maria

    The main draw for Zurich has 8 seeds, with 4 1st-round byes. There are 4 qualifiers, 3 wild cards and 2 Lucky Losers in the main draw.
    The time in Zurich is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) plus 2 hours. That is US Eastern Daylight Time +6 hours, =PDT +9 hours.


s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?

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Swiss WTA player reps Patty Schnyder & Timea Bacsinszky
and retired former WTA #1 Martina Hingis participated in the draw on Saturday

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Nadia Petrova, Meghann Shaughnessy, and Anna-Lena Groenefeld appeared to be attending a WTA art appreciation class,
while Maria Sharapova and Martina Hingis practiced their looking-good exercises at the player party

Zurich, 1st Round, Mon-Weds
loser's prize: $8,300 US; points: 1
#12 s7 Venus Williams USA d #17 Karolina Sprem CRO 6-2, 6-2 Tues

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Venus Williams

    Venus said: "My game is nice. I was serving well, returning well. A lot of pace. That’s one of my strength in my game, I used my pace and my power...
    About their last match, at Wimbledon, where Karolina won (after the chair umpire made a scoring error during a tiebreaker) Venus said: "[Karolina] came out and played unbelievable, and at the same time I didn’t have one of my best days. The difference was that she really played much better at Wimbledon."

#13 s8 Nadia Petrova RUS d #27 wc Lisa Raymond USA 6-4, 6-3 Tues
#14 s9 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #43 q Shinobu Asagoe JPN 6-2, 6-3 Tues
#15 s10 Patty Schnyder SUI d #26 Magdalena Maleeva BUL 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 Tues

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Patty Schnyder

#16 Paola Suarez ARG d #36 LL Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 Tues
#18 Alicia Molik AUS d #20 Silvia Farina Elia ITA 6-1, 7-6(5) Mon
#19 Elena Bovina RUS d #21 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-3, 7-6(5) Weds
#22 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #238 wc Timea Bacsinszky SUI 6-1, 6-4 Mon

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Nathalie Dechy

#23 Fabiola Zuluaga COL d #28 Mary Pierce FRA 6-3, 6-2 Mon
*#155 q Ana Ivanovic SCG d #29 q Tatiana Golovin FRA 7-5, 6-7(2), 7-6(3) Weds

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Ana Ivanovic being interviewed after defeating Tatiana Golovin

    Tatiana had a 5-1 lead in the 3rd set, but Ana recovered to force the tiebreak. Ana and Tatiana are both 16 years old. Ana, though less well known than Tatiana, has won 5 ITF cicuit events this year. Although from Serbia, Ana is residing in Bulgaria, and is trying to get a Swiss passport, so she can compete as Swiss. Ana was previously coached by Eric van Harpen (who once coached Anna Kournikova, among others), but this fall began being coached by Zoltan Kuharszky.

    Ana said: "Actually, I often turn matches like this. I was down in every set, but I always knew I can make it... I was a little bit nervous to start the match, but after a while I became more comfortable. Even when I was down 5-1, I tried to stay calm and believe in myself. This is obviously my biggest win.
    "I started the year ranked around 700, but I played a lot of matches in ITF events, sometimes playing eight matches in one week, going through qualies, so that has been good to give me match practice and self-confidence."

    Tatiana said: "I was impressed with [Ana's] game today. She definitely has a great future. I should've taken my chances because I had big leads in all three sets. But in the end I felt she won it instead of me losing it."

#35 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #82 wc Vera Douchevina RUS 6-1, 6-4 Mon
#39 LL Flavia Pennetta ITA d #176 q Marie G Mikaelian SUI 6-2, 6-1 Tues

Zurich, 2nd Round, Weds-Thur
loser's prize: $15,600 US; points: 42
#6 s3 Elena Dementieva RUS d #19 Elena Bovina RUS 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 Thurs

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Elena Bovina
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Elena Dementieva

#7 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #35 Daniela Hantuchova SVK 6-4, 7-5 Weds

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Maria Sharapova

    After winning the 1st set with a single break, Maria trailed Daniela 2-5 in the 2nd set before winning 5 straight games. It was Maria's 10th win in a row, following tourney victories in Tokyo and Seoul.
    Maria said: "When you play [Daniela], then you know that it’s going to be a good match. It’s never easy to play her... I'm feeling good about my game. Obviously the wins in Asia have given me confidence. I was working on a lot of things in my game over the summer, but it's taken me a while to bring these things onto the court. I like playing on this type of fast court." story

*#18 Alicia Molik AUS d #11 s6 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 Weds
#12 s7 Venus Williams USA d #155 q Ana Ivanovic SCG 7-6(11), 7-6(6) Thurs

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Venus Williams

    Venus said: "[Ana] played very well, she is a good player. I think I also helped her showing. She had some moments were she was a little bit frustrated, but then I missed some balls and brought her back.
    "I don’t make any changes in my game. My game is my game, and I don’t change it for anybody. Definitely I analyse my opponents to know the weaknesses and the strength, but I’m an aggressive player, and I don’t change it to play more moon balls or to play more slice in a game.
    "I think [Ana] has a good chance to be one of the best players. She has a good attitude, but I can’t predict it because there are so many good players today."

    Ana said: "I'm disappointed to lose today when I came so close, but it's been a great experience for me. Whether I win or lose, I have a lot of good things I've learned this week and in this match.
    "At the beginning of the match against Venus I just wanted to make sure it wasn't an easy match for her, but then I played my game a lot more and I was happy with the way I performed today. Next week I play in Luxembourg, so I just hope I can keep improving and getting experience at this level." story

#13 s8 Nadia Petrova RUS d #22 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 Thurs
#14 s9 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #39 LL Flavia Pennetta ITA 7-6(1), 6-1 Weds
#15 s10 Patty Schnyder SUI d #23 Fabiola Zuluaga COL 6-4, 6-3 Thurs

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Patty Schnyder

#16 Paola Suarez ARG d #40 LL Emilie Loit FRA 6-1, 2-2 retired-- left knee strain Thurs

Zurich, QFs, Fri
loser's prize: $29,000 US; points: 75
#6 s3 Elena Dementieva RUS d #14 s9 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-1, 5-7, 7-5

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Elena Dementieva

    Elena said: "I'm pretty tired after these two matches, but it was good for me that I had a late start to the tournament [Elena's first match was on Thursday] and I'm ready for my next opponent. I'm just going to get as much rest as I can and be ready for tomorrow." story

#7 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #12 s7 Venus Williams USA 6-3, 6-4

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Maria Sharapova

    Maria said: "I was able to pick up my game when I needed to and force [Venus] to make some errors. I thought I was dictating the match throughout and I'm definitely playing with a lot of confidence." story

    Venus said: "[Maria is] definitely a great player. A lot of my balls went long at the start of the match, and I was on the back foot from then on. Her balls have a lot of pace on them.
    "I definitely feel my game is at a better place than what it was at the US Open and in Moscow. I hope that in Philadelphia it's another level higher."

*#18 Alicia Molik AUS d #13 s8 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-3, 6-1

    Alicia said: "For sure it was one of my better wins this year. I went in with a definite game plan - to try and frustrate [Nadia] out there, and I think that worked. I think I tend to do that with a lot of players.
    "Obviously the crowd is going to be on Patty's side tomorrow but I think if we both put together some nice points, there will be claps for both of us."

#15 s10 Patty Schnyder SUI d #16 Paola Suarez ARG 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

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Patty during the match
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Patty after match point

Zurich, SFs, Sat
loser's prize: $54,300 US; points: 135
*#7 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS d #6 s3 Elena Dementieva RUS 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 career matches: Maria leads 3-1

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Maria during the match
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Maria after match point

    Maria said: "It was very tough and came down to the end, to the last point. In the first set I didn't attack [Elena's] serve as much as I would like to, and in the second and third I was able to do something with it. At crucial points of the match there were times I was more aggressive and I was able to dictate the play, and when I needed to I was playing some good defensive shots, and that's very important against a player that gets everything back."

    Elena said: "I felt I was very close to winning this match. It was just a couple of balls, a couple of shots she did down the line, maybe in or out, I'm not sure. [Maria] was maybe a little bit lucky today, but I still feel like I was playing good and doing the right things. I just didn't have enough luck to finish."

*#18 Alicia Molik AUS d #15 s10 Patty Schnyder SUI 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 career matches: tied 1-1

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Alicia Molik

    Alicia's serve was broken in the first game, the only service break in the 1st set. Alicia said: "It wasn't the best start. I missed some stock-standard easy forehands in that first game, but it didn't worry me too much. The last couple of matches I've really brought on the type of tennis I need to play at the right time. It was a bit nip and tuck, that first set, but then I gained a bit of momentum." story

Zurich, Final, Sun
loser's prize: $ 102,000 US; points: 210
winner's prize: $ 189,000 US; points: 300
*#18 Alicia Molik AUS d #7 s4 Maria Sharapova RUS 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 career matches: tied 1-1

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Alicia and Maria at the end of the match

Zurich, Doubles Final
losers' prize: $59,000 US
winners' prize: $31,450 US
*cdr12 s2 Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs d cdr3 s1 Virginia Ruano Pascual & Paola Suarez 6-4, 6-4

Zurich, Qual Finals, Sun Oct 17
#29 Tatiana Golovin FRA v #40 Emilie Loit FRA 6-0, 6-3
*#155 Ana Ivanovic SCG d #36 Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-2, 6-1
*#176 Marie Gayanay Mikaelian SUI d #39 Flavia Pennetta ITA 7-6(2), 6-0
#43 Shinobu Asagoe JPN d #53 Denisa Chladkova CZE 7-6(2), 6-0

Zurich, Withdrawals
#1 s1 Amelie Mauresmo FRA thigh strain
#2 s2 Lindsay Davenport USA flu
#9 s5 Serena Williams USA left knee pain

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    (Oct 17, 2004) Last week's # 1 Amelie Mauresmo, who withdrew from the Kremlin Cup due to a thigh injury, also withdrew from Zurich on Monday, still not fully recovered (1 week old rankings are usually used on this page, because draws are based on them). This week's # 1, Lindsay Davenport withdrew earlier from Zurich with the flu. And the 5th seed, # 9 Serena Williams, has also withdrawn, still having trouble with her left knee, which she had surgery on over a year ago.

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