07
Jan
12

Kaia Kanepi won her second career title as she stormed to a 6-2 6-1 win over Daniela Hantuchova in the Brisbane International final.

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The big-hitting 26-year-old has produced upset wins over seeds Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Andrea Petkovic and Francesca Schiavone to reach the final and produced the same superb form against Hantuchova. She was particularly devastating early in the second set, dropping just a solitary point in the first four games as she powered towards the biggest win of her career to date, adding to the title she won in Palermo in 2010.  That dominant start to the second set in fact extended Kanepi’s run to nine games in succession from 1-2 in the opener. Hantuchova should have been the fresher of the two players, having been granted a quarter-final walkover following Serena Williams’ withdrawal and then won her semi-final when Kim Clijsters retired during the second set. But Kanepi’s giant-killing run had seen her build momentum and she won 82% of points on her first serve as she recorded her first victory in four career meetings with the Slovakian, eventually finishing the encounter with her fourth match point.

The victory is set to lift Kanepi from 34th to 26th in the WTA rankings, ensuring she will be seeded for the Australian Open. Hantuchova will rise from 24 to 21.

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