Pavlyuchenkova Still Perfect In Monterrey
Published March 06, 2011 12:00
MONTERREY, México - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's love affair with Monterrey continued to burn strong this week, as the world's best teenager defended her crown, rallying to defeat Jelena Jankovic in the final, 26 62 63.
Pavlyuchenkova, who won the hardcourt title last year and was the No.2 seed this year, had some difficult moments early on, coming back from a break down in the third to win her opener against former Top 15 player Eleni Daniilidou, but then cruised into her second straight final here without losing a set.
Meanwhile, No.1 seed Jankovic was cruising too, losing just 23 games in four straight set wins to reach the final - an average of less than three games lost per set. She also made back-to-back semifinals at Premier events in Dubai and Doha the last two weeks, so had won 10 of her last 12 matches.
It was Jankovic who came out firing early, needing just 33 minutes to take the first set; but Pavlyuchenkova wouldn't let the Serb steamroll her, breaking straight away in the first game of the second set and eventually running away with it herself. She ended the match on a ferocious forehand winner up the line.
"Last year I said it was very special for me, but this one was also very special, maybe even more," Pavlyuchenkova said on court. "The crowd made it possible for me last year and they made it possible for me this year too. They pulled me through each match. It's always tough to defend a title so it means a lot."
Pavlyuchenkova not only kept her record in Monterrey perfect at 10-0, but she maintained her perfect record in WTA finals at 3-0, her first two titles coming here and in Istanbul last season. Jankovic is now 12-13 in WTA finals.
"It's a great city and I felt amazing here," Jankovic said. "Congratulations to Anastasia, she played so well tonight. She was the better player. Well done."
"Jelena and I played a great final, I hope everyone enjoyed it," Pavlyuchenkova added. "It was a pleasure to come back. I love coming here every year."
Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova won the doubles for the second year in a row, defeating Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Vania King in the final for the second year in a row as well. Last year the Czech duo came from a set down to win, 36 64 108, rallying from 2-5 in the match tie-break; this year they came from a set down again but were never behind in the breaker, storming out to 7-0 and eventually scoring a 67(8) 62 106 championship victory.
Benesova and Zahlavova Strycova now have seven WTA doubles titles together, one in 2008 (Stockholm), one in 2009 (Luxembourg), three in 2010 (Paris [Indoors], Monterrey and Tokyo [Pan Pacific]) and now two in 2011 (Sydney and Monterrey). Benesova now has 11 WTA doubles titles, Zahlavova Strycova 12.