Monday, August 2, 2010

Queen of Teens wins second title.

The teen queen of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour was made to work but managed to come away with her second career title Sunday, outlasting Elena Vesnina in the final of the Istanbul Cup, 5-7 7-5 6-4.

Pavlyuchenkova, the No.3 seed, led 5-2 in the first set with a set point but had a rough patch from there, losing nine straight games. But when it got to 7-5 4-0, she kicked back into gear, taking that second set then rallying from 1-3 in the third to score the three-hour, 10-minute victory. She added a second trophy to her cabinet, which already included a title from Monterrey earlier this year.

"I don't really know what to think right now," Pavlyuchenkova said. "Elena played really well and aggressively and didn't let me play my game. I knew if I won the second set I had a good chance of winning the match. It was so hot, I was still tired from my match yesterday, my legs were dead... but I really wanted to win the title and kept fighting every point. I'm so happy to win my second title."

Pavlyuchenkova had to come back from a set down to win her only other previous meeting with Vesnina, at an ITF Women's Circuit tournament in 2008. That encounter ended more comfortably with a 3-6 6-2 6-1 scoreline.

Vesnina, who celebrated her 24th birthday on finals day, still had reason to celebrate. She came into Istanbul on a seven-match losing streak, having not won a match on the Tour since Charlestin in April; she won four in a row to reach the final here, her third career final after runner-up finishes last year at Auckland (to Elena Dementieva) and New Haven (to Caroline Wozniacki).

"It was tough conditions, but we both fought until the end," Vesnina said. "I started feeling ill at the end of the second set but I pushed myself as hard as I could. I'm proud of myself for sticking in there. It has been a great week and I have to give credit to Anastasia, she played very well and deserved the win."

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