Raymond, Black Win at Big Island
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WAIKOLOA, Hawaii (AP) _ Second-seeded Lisa Raymond advanced to the final of the Big Island Championships on Saturday, beating Belgium’s Els Callens 6-2, 7-5.
Raymond, the 29-year-old American seeking her fourth WTA Tour title in her 10th career final, will face Zimbabwe’s Cara Black in the title match at Hilton Waikoloa Village.
Black led Spain’s Gala Leon Garcia 6-1, 2-1 when Leon Garcia retired because of tendinitis in her left shoulder.
``It’s nice to get out early and get a good win under your belt,″ said Raymond, who won the Kroger St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn., in February.
``I’ve been real clear-minded this week. It’s such a beautiful place. Anytime you go out on the court you enjoy it and I’ve really enjoyed my week here and it’s showed in my results.″
After falling behind 1-4 in the final set, Raymond rallied to tie it 4-4. She saved two set points serving at 4-5 to tie it again, broke to take the lead and served out to end the match.
``This whole week I have really been hanging in there and not counting myself out even when I get down a break knowing that I’m playing well enough that I can break back and get back in the match,″ Raymond said. ``Els can be streaky and she can roll off three, four games at a time.″
The 23-year-old Black advanced to her second career final in pursuit of her first tour title.
``I’m really looking forward to it and I’m really excited,″ Black said. ``Lisa and I have played a couple times before. I don’t think I’ve beaten her, so it’s a good time for revenge.″