ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — Third-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany won the Diamond Games without hitting a ball when fifth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain pulled out of Sunday’s final with a neck injury.
“I really like Carla, she’s a great person and always friendly and positive, and she has a tremendous amount of talent,” Petkovic said after clinching her sixth career title. “You can never really enjoy the win when you don’t fight for it. I had a great week and I’m leaving as the champion, but definitely mixed emotions.”
Petkovic gave home fans something to cheer when she played an exhibition match against four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, who is the tournament director.
“I hope you don’t take any offense Kim, but I’m glad you are done playing on tour,” Petkovic said after losing the exhibition game against the former world No. 1.
Suarez Navarro, who was chasing her second career title, decided not to play after waking up with severe neck pains.
“I just couldn’t serve. I couldn’t play like I wanted,” she said. “I’m really sorry. I love this tournament and I had a great week.”
Petkovic reached the final the hard way, saving eight match points in a second-round win over Belgian wildcard Alison Van Uytvanck. She took well over two hours to beat unseeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the semifinals, despite leading by a set and 4-3 on serve.
The 27-year-old Petkovic will break back into the top 10 in the rankings this week.
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