PROP09062005LIVERPOOL_TENNIS_D4After making headlines for the power of her tonsils all week, de Brito showed that the strength of her tennis was even stronger as she overcame Britain’s Laura Robson in a Super Tie-Break 10-6, after they had shared two sets 6-4, 2-6 at Calderstones Park on Saturday.PORTUGUESE teenager Michelle Larcher de Brito and experienced American Mardy Fish have been crowned the new Tradition ICAP Liverpool International Champions.

In the men’s final Fish beat Vince Spadea in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, to leave his 34-year-old opponent wondering if he will ever get his hands on the coveted Boodles’ Trophy.

Spadea was competing in his third Liverpool final, but his compatriot Fish was too strong, taking the opening set 6-4.

There was no sign of a fightback from Spadea as he collapsed in the second set. Trailing 5-2 and with rain beginning to fall, referee Alan Mills looked like being Spadea’s only hope, but Fish was quick enough to serve out his game and win the match.

The women’s match was more evenly balanced.

Michelle Larcher De Brito won the opening set 6-4, but not without both girls breaking each others serves in the opening three PROP09062105LIVERPOOL_TENNIS_D5
games.

Robson came back to win the second set 6-2, but a slip stretching for a forehand shot left the 15-year-old requiring treatment from her fitness coach Floris Minnaert.

It was a worrying moment, with Robson’s Wimbledon debut just 48 hours away, but Laura recovered well enough to take the second set and force a super tie-break third set.

The tie-break didn’t start well for Laura and she soon found herself 8-1 down.

But two service points and a break later, the British fans cheering Laura on thought a dramatic comeback was on the cards, but at match point Laura double faulted and Larcher De Brito was the new Liverpool International Women’s Champion.

Both girls will now travel to London for Wimbledon to compete in the senior women’s draw having each been handed a wild-card.

They are in the same side of the draw, with Michelle facing the Czech qialifier Klara Zakopalova while Robson comes up against Slovakia’s young star Daniela Hantuchova.

After the serious business was completed on Saturday, it was fun day yesterday with Michael Stich collecting the Legends Trophy.

Following his victory over Anders Jarryd, the eccentric antics of Romanian ringmaster, Ilie Nastase and the magical maverick Mansour Bahrami lit up Centre Court – with able assistance from Peter McNamara and Mikael Perrnfors.