TASHKENT - Italy’s Karin Knapp clinched her first title at the Tashkent Open on Saturday, six years after she feared her career may have ended when she underwent heart surgery. The third seed, a former top 40 player, defeated top-seeded Serb Bojana Jovanovski 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) for the trophy. Knapp was 35 in the world in 2008 when she needed surgery for a longstanding heart condition before going on to struggle with knee injuries, all problems which caused her ranking to plummet to 616. “I can’t say how happy I am right now,” said 27-year-old Knapp. “I’ve had five surgeries, so many months of lay-offs in the last six years, in and out of tennis the last two years due to bad knee problems — but I knew it was possible for me to win a WTA event one day, and I’m so happy I could do it here.”–AFP