RABAT, Morocco - It was a perfect 10 in more ways than one for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem on Saturday, as the Russian claimed her 10th career WTA title with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Francesca Schiavone.
Both players came into the match on a nine-match winning streak in WTA events, and the Russian ran hers to double figures with the win. Pavlyuchenkova's first tile of 2017 came on hard courts in Monterrey earlier this spring.
"We've had tough matches before in the past on clay, so I knew it was going to be tough," the Russian said. "I'm so happy and relieved I won. It's always nice to win a title, any match - a win is a win, I always say. I love to win, so I'm happy and enjoying this moment now."
The Russian struck 26 winners in the one hour, 43-minute championship match, and broke the Schiavone serve five times.
The Russian came from a break down twice in the opening set, and saved a break point at 4-4 to move ahead for the first time since she held serve to begin the final. The third break for the top seed in the 12th game proved decisive, as relentless hitting from the baseline finally earned her a one-set lead.
Pavlyuchenkova's momentum continued to begin the second set, as she broke for a 2-0 lead, but the Italian hit back right away to get the second set back on serve.
It stayed as such for the duration, with Schiavone forcing the top seed to save a break point at 2-2 and 5-5, before Pavlyuchenkova broke serve for the final time as the Italian double-faulted on the second match point.
Pavlyuchenkova will look to keep her winning streak going at the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, as she'll face Sorana Cirstea in the first round. Schiavone, a wildcard into the main draw, will face a qualifier in Sunday's first round.