Mauresmo retains Masters title

Amelie Mauresmo produced a stunning comeback against Patty Schnyder to retain her Rome Masters title on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Amelie Mauresmo produced a stunning comeback against Patty Schnyder to retain her Rome Masters title on Sunday. The French second seed was a set and a break down, but fought back to beat the Swiss eighth seed 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The win, Mauresmo's second of the year following her triumph in the Diamond Games in Antwerp, will be a big boost ahead of the French Open which starts on May 23. Superb form Mauresmo was contesting her fifth Rome final in six years when she took on Schnyder, whose previous best result in the Italian capital had been a semi-final back in 1997. Mauresmo, who had not dropped a set on the way to Sunday's final, was in trouble against the left-handed eighth seed who had been in superb form all week, defeating Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals. From the start, Schnyder used the same tactic which had worked so effectively against the Russian, varying the pace and spin on her shots, making it difficult for her opponent to settle. The Swiss showed great anticipation to home in on a poor half-volley and flick back a cross-court pass to seize control of the set. More errors Four more errors by Mauresmo allowed Schnyder to stretch her lead to 5-2 and then Schnyder closed out the set with an ace. The second set went with serve until the fifth game, when Mauresmo netted the simplest of volleys to give Schnyder a breakpoint, which she converted. Briefly it looked like Schnyder might win the title, but Mauresmo hit back aggressively to break back in the following game. Mauresmo broke for a 5-3 lead and then held serve to level the match. The second seed, who had won six of her last eight meetings against the Swiss, finally seized control of the contest in the fifth game of the decider. At 0-40 down, Schnyder pulled out three deep first serves to haul herself to deuce, but could not fend off the fourth break point as Mauresmo whipped a serve return down the line. The second seed, who has often lost from winning positions, held her nerve in a tense 10th game and served out for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win when the eighth seed hit her forehand long. (AP)