No.4 seed Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands swept to victory at the Grand Est Open 88 on Sunday, beating No.8 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-3 to claim the WTA 125 title in Contrexeville, France.
World No.86 Rus needed 1 hour and 19 minutes to dispatch 2021 Roland Garros finalist Pavlyuchenkova in a clay-court clash between two power players.
After losing her first three WTA 125 finals, 32-year-old Rus has now developed a habit of winning at this level. The Dutch left-hander won her first career WTA 125 title at La Bisbal d'Empordà just last month, and she has now won 10 matches in a row at WTA 125 events.
Rus dropped only one set all week (to Erika Andreeva in the second round) as she continues to rise up the rankings in 2023. Rus started the year at No.115, but she is edging closer to potentially bettering her career-high ranking of No.61, which she set back in 2012.
As for Pavlyuchenkova, the former World No.11 fell at the last hurdle this week, but she continues her strong comeback after missing almost all of last season due to injuries. Pavlyuchenkova made a bold return to the Roland Garros quarterfinals last month before falling to eventual finalist Karolina Muchova.
In Sunday's final, Rus earned the first break of the day, forcing an error with a deep service return to lead 4-2. Pavlyuchenkova saved a set point at 5-2 with an unreturned serve, but Rus converted her second set point one game later, firing a forehand winner behind Pavlyuchenkova.
A missed drop volley by Pavlyuchenkova gave Rus a break for 4-3 in the second set, and the Dutchwoman saved a break point in the following game to consolidate for 5-3.
Pavlyuchenkova hit two double faults in that game en route to double championship point for Rus, and the No.4 seed wrapped up the win on her second match point after a wide forehand by her opponent. Rus converted half of her eight break points in the match, while erasing four of the five break points she faced.
Earlier on Sunday, No.2 seeds Cristina Bucsa and Alena Fomina-Klotz claimed the doubles title, eking past unseeded Amina Anshba and Anastasia Detiuc 4-6, 6-3, [10-7] in 1 hour and 36 minutes.
It is Fomina-Klotz's first WTA 125 doubles title in her second career WTA 125 final. Bucsa has now won two WTA 125 doubles titles, having previously prevailed alongside Weronika Falkowska at Andorra la Vella last December.