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Pavlyuchenkova wins twice in one day for Monterrey title


 

Originally published on: 10/03/10 10:26

Already the youngest player in the top 40, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova achieved an all the more unique feat on Sunday as she won two three-set matches in one day to clinch her first WTA title in Monterrey.

The 18-year-old Russian first defeated surprise semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 2-6 6-1 in their rain-delayed clash on Sunday, before taking down second seed Daniela Hantuchova 1-6 6-1 6-0.

Conceding the first set to Hantuchova as easily as she had won the last in her semi-final hours earlier, the world No.25 initially struggled to maintain the level that had taken her to her first WTA final.

“After my first match, it was hard to concentrate again. I wasn’t feeling the ball well and Daniela played a very solid first set,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “I tried to understand her game and I started fighting.”

Quickly becoming the aggressor, the Russian – whose breakthrough came at last year’s Indian Wells tournament where she made the quarter-finals – turned on the style, crushing down serves and finding the corners with her groundstrokes.

A swinging forehand volley winner clinched the 20th game – her 12th in the last 13 of the match – to earn her a hefty $37,000 prize fund and the Monterrey title, but Pavlyuchenkova admitted afterwards that her victory still hadn’t quite sunk in.

“When you win a final it’s hard to understand – you feel a lot of emotions,” she said. “In a few days I will get it.”

Though denied a fourth WTA title and her first since 2007, 26-year-old Hantuchova was pleased with her Monterrey run.

“Even though I lost, I had a great week. I’m frustrated every time I lose, but I played five matches and fought well,” said the world No.22.

“I played a solid first set with few mistakes, but then she started to play very aggressively with almost no mistakes.

“She really played unbelievable. I was always under pressure. Maybe after the first set she thought she had nothing to lose, then began playing better.”

Hantuchova, a late entrant and wildcard, was featuring in the Monterrey tournament for the first time after missing out on the inaugural event in 2009, and added; “The organization was great. My mom and I had a wonderful week.”

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