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Erakovic took the first set 6-1 in the final against Sabine Lisicki before the German was forced to retire, handing the New Zealand No 1 her maiden WTA title.
The 24-year-old has won seven doubles titles but, despite making two previous finals including last year in Memphis, she had never made it over the last hurdle.
That all changed today, though Lisicki's retirement will take some gloss off the win. With Lisicki ranked No 40 in the world to Erakovic's No 71, the German would have been confident of claiming victory, especially after beating Erakovic in three sets earlier this month.
But Erakovic is unlikely to have any complaints, becoming the first Kiwi to win a WTA title since Belinda Cordwell in 1989.