The final day of the ING Vysya Hyderabad Open 2004 saw peaking excitement and furious battles on-court. Nicole Pratt emerged victorious in a hard fought match against Russian Maria Kirilenko 7-6(3) 6-1, Nicole earned herself her first WTA title. Nicole is no stranger to winning; she’s already bagged 4 WTA Doubles titles and has accrued 5 singles and 8 doubles titles on the ITF circuit. Speaking at her Hotel the Taj Krishna after her match Nicole said “I am very excited about this win, I have worked very hard, it was rewarding. I hope to keep doing what I am doing and want to win an Olympic gold for Australia.” She even had a tip for upcoming Indian girls who are hitting out on the professional arena – “work hard and enjoy what you are doing”. Maria commented on the court during the prize ceremony, saying “I hope to come back here and win the title next time.” The Hyderabad crowd lapping up every word and action were mesmerized by Nicole’s and Maria’s on-court performance.
Receiving their prize for the runner-up position, Ting Li and Tian Tian Sun, the Chinese duo who made a mark on the Indian courts, were in jovial spirits on bagging the runner-up spot, but said they’d be back to duel at Hyderabad. Sania Mirza and Liezel Huber, the pair that woke up Hyderabad had the spectators cheering their success. The Chief Guest at the prize ceremony Sri Devendra Gupta, Honourable Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court handed out Episode Trophies and large prize cheques from ING Vysya to the winners and runners up. Sri Devendra Gupta also handed out mementos to members of the Organizing Committee and WTA tour members.
The future of Indian Women’s tennis is on the road to securing a foothold in the world of sports with Sania’s success and future WTA tournaments in India may see more Indian talent emerge, bolstering India’s position on the International sports map.