Zapopan Open: Marozava and Christian, a title with a flavor of peace


ZAPOPAN.- In the midst of a colorful celebration with a charro hat, a bouquet of flowers and a sea of ​​applause, the Belarusian tennis player Lidziya Marozava found a space of serenity to cry out for world peace and ask for the end of the war that shakes to Ukraine, a neighboring country to hers, Belarus, and where people closely linked to her live: “I feel very sad, I just want peace,” she said while lifting her title as doubles champion of the Zapopan Open 2022, along with the American Kaitlyn Christian.

The Belarusian-American duo defeated China’s Xinyu Wang and Lin Zhu in two sets (7-5 ​​and 6-3) to win the trophy in front of the Guadalajara crowd, after having left out the fierce Japanese Misaki Doi and Miyu Kato in semifinals. With this, the winners pocketed 10,800 dollars in a contest where the favorites, by ranking, were Elixane Lechemia (France) and Ingrid Neel (United States).

Marozava was born in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, 29 years ago. Her country borders Ukraine to the south and between her hometown and Kiev, the Ukrainian capital that has been invaded by the Russian army, there are only 500 kilometers away. Therefore, the current situation is full of feelings despite her victory.

“It is frustrating and very painful what is happening in Ukraine right now. It is my neighboring country, I have many friends and relatives of my friends living there. I am not an expert, I am not a politician, I just understand that it is completely wrong. I really feel very affected, it is terrible news, it is very hard to see videos of suffering every day and I just want to say that I am against war of any kind. I think we have very good options to be united, like tennis, I don’t want any confrontation between players or countries, I just want peace, ”said the tennis player at a press conference after the match.

In Zapopan, the Belarusian reached the seventh doubles final in her WTA career, where she had won two titles: the Polish 250 Open in July 2021 and the Luxembourg International Open in October 2017, although she also won two. Challengers 125K in Prague in September 2020 and in Belgrade in July 2021. She had never paired with an American player, as her partners in finals were from the Netherlands, Romania, Japan and Kazakhstan.

For her part, for Kaitlyn Christian it means the first doubles title of her WTA career after losing five finals between 2018 and 2021. Her only trophy was a Challenger 125K in Saint-Malo, France, last May, but this is a of his most important victories.

“It was very fun to play with my partner Lidziya, as she has said, our first practices here in Zapopan were very difficult because of the altitude, but it is not about how you start, but how you finish and we finished very well, so I am very happy for the great effort we made”, said Christian, 30 years old.

Marozava and Christian will leave for Monterrey to face the GNP Open with the illusion of a new final, after they arrived in Zapopan without much expectation due to the altitude issue and because they have only been training together for the last two months.

In that time, Marozava and Christian have played five tournaments together: the Melbourne Summer Set 1, the Adelaide International 2, the Australian Open, the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy and now the Zapopan Open. His best result had been a quarterfinal in both the Melbourne Summer Set 1 and the Adelaide International, until he won the title in the Mexican tournament.

The other two champion duos in the history of the Zapopan Open are: María Sánchez (United States) and Fanny Stollar (Hungary) in 2019, as well as Ellen Perez and Astra Sharma (both Australians) in 2021.



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