Tennis; Martinez ends her18-month wait for title

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CONCHITA MARTINEZ yesterday took her first title for 18 months by winning the German Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Amelie Mauresmo.

The Spaniard claimed her second teenage scalp in two days after crushing Anna Kournikova for the loss of only one game in Saturday's semi-final.

Mauresmo, the first qualifier ever to reach the final of a top level WTA tournament, had beaten Jana Novotna in her semi-final, but Martinez used slow heavy topspin to force the 18-year-old behind the baseline and then dealt firmly with the French girl's short replies or over-ambitious passing attempts.

Mauresmo started well and created most of the entertaining attacks as she led 4-2 in the first set and 2-0 in the second, displaying a pleasing range of disguised, faded and even ambitious half-vollied drives and also some clever approaches.

"I think I was just a bit too tired, though I wasn't tense," said Mauresmo, who played seven matches in eight days. "I always knew the day would come when I would show how I can play, I just didn't know when. I still don't think it's sunk in what I've done, but I'm sure things will be different for me after this."