- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 22, 2009

INDIAN WELLS, CALIF. (AP) - Vera Zvonareva was the steadier player on a wind-swept afternoon at Indian Wells on Sunday, defeating defending champion Ana Ivanovic in the BNP Paribas title match.

With swirling gusts making the service toss difficult and even some routine shots extremely tricky, the 24-year-old Russian took a 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over her Serbian opponent.

No. 6 Zvonareva added the crown to the doubles championship she won the previous day with teammate Victoria Azarenka, whom she had beaten in the singles semifinal.

Zvonareva joined Lindsay Davenport as the only women to win the singles and doubles title at Indian Wells in the same year. Davenport did it twice, in 1997 and 2000.

In the singles final this time, the wind swirled around the stadium in the 40-mph range, with both players often tossing the ball to serve only to have to catch it and try again. Serving on the first point of the tiebreaker, Ivanovic tossed the ball up, it went sailing some three feet behind her, bounced on the court and kept bouncing away, swept off the court by the wind.

Ivanovic finally served and won the point, but a string of errors cost her the rest of the tiebreaker and plagued her in the second set.

Zvonareva, who won her ninth career singles title and second of the year, handled the conditions better. She made 23 unforced errors, half of Ivanovic’s total. Ivanovic also had five double faults, Zvonareva one.

Those mistakes negated Ivanovic’s winners _ she hit 29 to Zvonareva’s five.

The victory evened Zvonareva’s record against Ivanovic to 4-4.

No. 7 Ivanovic, the defending French Open champion who had two stints at No. 1 last year, was trying to become only the second woman to repeat as Indian Wells champion. Martina Navratilova won the desert event in 1990-91.



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