Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru beat Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm at the 17th Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa on Saturday November 15, 2014 to claim her eighth ITF women’s singles title. Joanna Andrews reports.
Twenty-five-year-old Alexandra Dulgheru stole the show with a 6-3, 6-4 victory at the Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge dashing the hopes of last year’s winner, 44-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, to be the only woman to win the singles crown for two years running. Dulgheru’s win pulls the Romanian - with a career best ranking of no. 26 in 2011 - into the top 100.
Dulgheru, who has been battling several injuries over the past few years, told the media she was delighted with the win, “This trophy is extra special because I have won against an extra special player like Kimiko. It was a tough final and I was not really sure where I would measure against her.”
Mohammad Al Mazroui, Managing Director, Al Habtoor Group presented the trophies to the two finalists in the presence of members of the Board of Directors from Tennis Emirates, Ahmad Abdul Malek, Sarah Baker and Khalid Al Ali.
The doubles final was won by Russians Vitalia Diatchenko and Alexandra Panova who beat Lyudmula Kichenok and Olga Savchuk 3-6, 6-2, 10-4.
The AHTC is the brainchild of Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group. He started the $75,000 ITF Women’s circuit tournament in 1998.