Seventh-seeded Celine Cattaneo of France tamed second-seeded Nicha Lertpitaksinchai of Thailand with surprising ease at 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the $10,000 ITF women's tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

It was a well deserved victory for the French, as she had asserted her all-round game through the tournament by not dropping a set. She had accounted for a string of talented Indian girls, Prerna Bhambri, Ratnika Batra and Kyra Shroff along the way.

Serving big, firing half a dozen aces along the way, the experienced French lady, fresh from her semifinal appearance as a qualifier in Switzerland in a similar tournament, dictated the flow of the contest.

Big lead

In fact, Celine led 5-0 by dropping a mere six points in those games, before Nicha managed to pull one back.

In the second set, the 18-year-old Thai girl who had won the singles title in the $25,000 tournament in Bangalore in December, looked to have turned the match around with a break in the fourth game.

However, the strong Thai girl's revival was short-lived as she failed to hold on to her serve any more in the match against a spell of sensible play by the French.

There was some scope of a fight when Nicha broke Celine in the eighth game, following a couple of errors by the French, but the wiry Celine smacked the winners to close the match out in an hour and 10 minutes.

The winner collected 12 WTA points and the runner-up got 8. The women's circuit will move to Lucknow to be played on grass next week. — Special Correspondent

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