Hantuchova defends Pattaya Open title

Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia beat Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in a hard-fought final to defend her title at the Pattaya Open.

Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova won her second straight Pattaya Open title Sunday, defeating Russia's Maria Kirilenko 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3.

This was Hantuchova's fifth career title and her first since winning in Thailand a year ago.

''Even after I lost the first set, I kept fighting and never looked back,'' said Hantuchova, who successfully defended a title for the first time. ''This is special for me.''

Not wanting to break a winning routine, Hantuchova said she had eaten chicken fried rice and salad for the past seven days, and was looking forward to something different.

''It could be a pizza or anything,'' she said. ''I also kept eating the same thing in Indian Wells and I won.''

Hantuchova, seeded third, won in 3 hours, 14 minutes. Kirilenko had already spent more than 9 1/2 hours on court just to get to the final, her first on the WTA Tour in nearly 16 months.

She was a break up in the first set before eventually taking it on a tiebreaker when Hantuchova netted a backhand after 1 hour, 14 minutes.

Hantuchova won the second set after an early break before Kirilenko needed treatment on court for a right hip injury.

The Russian double-faulted to give Hantuchova the crucial break and a 5-3 lead in the deciding set. Hantuchova closed the victory with help of two forehand winners down the line.