Ana Ivanovic lifted the Maud Watson Trophy today as she was crowned the Aegon Classic 2014 Champion.
The Serbian world No.13 beat the Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3, 6-2 to claim her first WTA title, her third title in 2014 and her 14th overall.
After receiving the Maud Watson trophy, the 26 year-old said: “It feels amazing, the crowd has been amazing and I’m really looking forward to coming back next year.”
Ivanovic has been in excellent form all week, not dropping a set and losing only 21 games on her way to the title.
Looking ahead to Wimbledon, she said: “I couldn’t ask for better preparation than to win my first title on grass.”
Earlier in the day, the doubles title was won by Raquel Kops-Jones & Abigail Spears who defeated the defending champions Casey Dellacqua & Ashleigh Barty. The American duo Kops-Jones & Spears overcame their Australian opponents 7-6(1), 6-1 in one hour and 8 minutes on the Ann Jones Centre Court to take the title.
Rally for Bally
Following the ladies singles final, spectators were treated to an exhibition match featuring Martina Navratilova, Tim Henman, Anne Keothavong and James Ward. The match took place in support of Rally for Bally – the fundraising event in memory of the former British No. 1 Elena Baltacha who died of liver cancer in May.
The monies raised from today’s event, including £4,000 bid for two of Martina Navratilova’s racquets, will go towards the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.
Players from the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT) attended the event as special guests and walked on court with players as mascots. EBAT is the Ipswich-based academy which Bally and her husband Nino started from scratch to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to learn tennis.
Speaking about her involvement, Martina Navratilova said: “This match is a bittersweet experience. We love this sport so much, which is why we came together, but life really stinks sometimes. It’s not fair. It stinks that this is why we’re getting together to play but the legacy will live on and that’s the main thing. There’ll be plenty of kids that will benefit from this much premature death of Elena. But amazing that Elena did this academy while she was still playing, that really is an amazing effort, and we’ll keep it going.”
To date, over £55,000 in public donations has already been raised.
If you were unable to attend today’s event and would still like to support Rally For Bally donations can be made quickly and easily here: www.justgiving.com/RallyForBally. Or, text “EBAL60 £10” to 70070, to make, for example, a £10 donation via your mobile phone.