Originally written on Tennis Panorama  |  Last updated 11/19/14

NEW YORK - AUGUST 25: Marina Erakovic of New Zealand returns a forehand against Pauline Parmentier of France during Day 1 of the 2008 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 25, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(February 23, 2013) Marina Erakovic of New Zealand won her first WTA title at the US National Indoor Tennis Championships on Saturday when the No.3 seed Sabine Lisicki had to retire due to gastrointestinal illness with Erakovic up 6-1. “It’s very unfortunate I wasn’t able to finish the match,” Lisicki said. “I put all the energy I had left in my body into the match, but I just couldn’t keep going. I had been sick the last three days already. But Marina had a great tournament and I want to congratulate her for her first WTA title.”   Erakovic is the first New Zealander to win a WTA title since Belinda Cordwell at Kallang in 1989.   “I think it means quite a bit for New Zealand,” she said. “We’re a small place, we’ve got about four million people, and tennis isn’t the most popular sport – but whenever I’m somewhere else in the world and someone asks me where I’m from, and I say New Zealand, they always say they love New Zealand. And there are always a lot of Kiwis supporting me around the world. So this is great.   “I’ve just talked to home – everyone’s super excited. My dad was watching online – I had to tell him congratulations too, because he did so much when I was a kid. This really was teamwork.”   Erakovic was especially pleased with the guitar-shaped trophy, as she plays guitar and travels with one. “I really couldn’t have thought of a better moment in time than that,” she said.
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