Nara defeats Zakopalova for first singles title - NBC Sports

Nara defeats Zakopalova for first singles title
APWF
Kurumi Nara of Japan, returns to Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic during the final match at the Rio Open tennis tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb.23, 2014. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
February 23, 2014, 2:21 pm

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Kurumi Nara of Japan won her first WTA singles title on Sunday, defeating top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

The 22-year-old Japanese player was the fifth-seeded player in the tournament and is Japan's top-ranked woman at No. 62. She prefers to play on hard courts but has adapted to the heat and clay in Rio.

Zakopalova won two WTA titles 10 years ago, but has now lost 12 consecutive singles finals. In parts of the match she seemed unwell, probably bothered by the 32 degree (90F) heat and intense humidity.

In the men's final, top-seeded and No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain faced Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine. Nadal is 297-21 on clay, the best record in the Open Era.

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