Natasha Zvereva lost the first nine games before beating Nathalie Tauziat, 0-6, 7-5, 6-3, yesterday to win the Eastbourne (England) grass-court championship -- her first title since 1994.
Zvereva also staged a comeback in the semifinals, saving three match points against Amanda Coetzer in the longest match on the WTA Tour this season. Tauziat came back from 5-1 down in the third to beat Anna Kournikova.
"I hadn't restored my energy from yesterday, and the conditions were extremely windy," Zvereva said. "It wasn't pleasant being beaten 6-0, 3-0, but I thought I'd hit the ball as hard as I could and try and come in more. She gave me an opening, and I was just able to win more points."
Tauziat said the defeat was disappointing because she came so close to regaining the title she won in 1995.
* HEINEKEN TROPHY: American Kristina Brandi won her first WTA tournament -- the grass-court event in the Netherlands -- with a three-set victory over Silvija Talaja of Croatia.
Patrick Rafter, the Wimbledon No. 2 seed, advanced to the men's final, where he will face Andrei Pavel of Romania. He beat Tommy Haas of Germany, 6-2, 7-5.
Brandi, ranked 57th in the world, won 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.
* NOTTINGHAM OPEN: Former Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up Cedric Pioline conquered a slow start to beat qualifier Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe to win in Nottingham, England.
Pioline dropped his opening service game, the first time in the tournament he had been broken. But he broke back in the third and seventh games and won 6-3, 7-5.