Top seed Chris Evert won her second straight Eckerd Tennis Open title Sunday, defeating unseeded Arantxa Sanchez of Spain, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
Evert and Sanchez each held serve for the first 10 games of the first set, then Sanchez broke Evert to take a 6-5 lead. But she lost her serve in the next game to bring it to 6-all.Evert, 33, who is ranked third in the world, said it was "a very close match. The first set could have gone either way."
The Boca Raton, Fla., resident quickly took control of the second set, breaking the 16-year-old Spaniard in the sixth game. She used deep shots to set up cross-court winners.
"I was a little uptight and started playing more comfortably in the second set," said Evert, who won $40,000. "Aranxta didn't have anything to lose, went for broke. She had no pressure on her."
Evert also said she encountered trouble with the wind.
"Playing against the wind was difficult," she said. "Playing with the wind, Aranxta's shots were very effective."
Sanchez, playing in her first professional final, said she thought she played her best match ever.
"Chris is No. 3 in the world and I'm 45, so I had nothing to lose," she said. "I'm happy I played well. I'm young and need more experience, but I played great."
Sanchez received $18,000. She had defeated Patricia Tarabini of Argentina, 6-2, 6-2, earlier in the day, finishing a semifinal match postponed by rain the night before. She showed no signs of fatigue in the final.