Wickmayer ducks shadow of bigger Belgians

Auckland: Belgian Yanina Wickmayer won the ABS Classic title to continue her emergence from the shadow of celebrated compatriots Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

With that high-profile pair of former number one players - both engaged in comebacks to tennis following retirement, US Open semi-finalist Wickmayer blazed her own trail with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of top seed Flavia Pennetta to earn the Auckland title Saturday.

The third-seeded Wickmayer claimed the third title of her career dating back just over eight months.

The Belgian ranks 16th and is unworried by a relative lack of attention paid to her at home. "Everyone is talking about Kim and Justine playing in Brisbane," Wickmayer said of the two finalists at the WTA event this week.

"All the Belgian press is there. That`s what it`s going to be, I guess, with Kim and Justine back."

Wickmayer constructed her victory over Italy`s Pennetta with five breaks of serve, winning in less than an hour and a quarter.

IANS