Pierce overcomes Testud to win first title of year

Top-seeded Mary Pierce defeated Sandrine Testud 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 on Sunday in an all-French final of the $520,000 Generali Ladies tournament in Linz, Austria. It was her 13th career WTA title.

Top-seeded Mary Pierce defeated Sandrine Testud 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 on Sunday in an all-French final of the $520,000 Generali Ladies tournament in Linz, Austria. It was her 13th career WTA title.

Pierce needed just one hour 26 minutes to secure the victory, her first this season, and just one year after she won at Luxembourg last October.

"I survived against some very tough opponents this week. I am very happy to have won my first tournament this year," Pierce told the Austria Press Agency.

Pierce will go on to compete in Leipzig this week, her sixth tournament in a row.

Fifth seeded Testud said later she had suffered a bout of nerves during the first set when she had a slim 5-4 advantage.

"My hand began to shake," Testud said.

Testud managed to hold on in the first set to level at 6-6, before letting Pierce take the tiebreaker 7-6 (7/2).

Pierce then kept up the pressure in the second set, allowing her opponent just one game.

Both players were competing in Linz for the third time.

Pierce, who made the quarterfinals in 1992, collected a winner's check for $80,000.

The third seeds Irina Spirlea of Romania and Caroline Vis of the Netherlands beat the fourth seeded pairing of Tina Krizan of Slovakia and Larissa Neiland of Latvia 6-4, 6-3 in the doubles final.

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