Schiavone wins 6th career title
MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP)
Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone won her first title in nearly a year Sunday, beating Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-1, 6-3 in the Grand Prix SAR final.
The sixth-seeded Schiavone was dominant in the first set, breaking the Spaniard twice and not facing a single break point.
Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion now ranked 48th, celebrated her first victory since winning the Strasbourg Open last May. The Italian didn't drop a set all tournament en route to winning her sixth title.
''This was a great week for me after a long, very difficult period,'' Schiavone said. ''I think my two toughest matches of the week were my first match against (Petra) Martic, a very talented young player, and of course today against Lourdes. I played a really complete game today. It's never easy to play her.''
Dominguez Lino broke in the fourth game of the second set to lead 3-1, but Schiavone broke straight back and saved further break points in the next game before breaking again to take control.
She leads Dominguez Lino 4-1 in head-to-head meetings. The 32-year-old veterans first played each other 15 years ago on clay at Spoleto in Italy, with the Spaniard winning for the only time.
''To win here is a great start to the clay court season for me and inspires me to keep working hard,'' Schiavone said. ''I'm just enjoying playing for these crowds and giving the fans the best that I can give.''
Dominguez Lino's last title was in February 2011 at Bogota, Colombia.
''It was my first time in Marrakech and I am really pleased with my result,'' she said. ''All credit to Francesca.''