Third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won her first title under the new tutelage of Martina Hingis as she posted a 7-5, 6-2 defeat of Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro on Saturday at the Portugal Open.
The 19th-ranked Russian has been working with five-time Swiss Grand Slam champion Hingis for just a few weeks on an official basis.
The victory in 96 minutes marks her first trophy on clay.
She now owns five titles with the latest victory duplicating 2012 heartbreak for Suarez Navarro in the Portugal final. At that time, the Spaniard failed to hang onto a lead over Kaia Kanepi to lose the title bid.
Suarez Navarro was beaten in her second WTA final of the season after a loss at Acapulco to French Open finalist Sara Errani of Italy.
Suarez Navarro, ranked 23rd to the 19th of Pavlyuchenkova, got the early break in the match, but seemed to let her nerves dictate.
That was not the case with her opponent, who struggled through her own slow start before taking charge, saving three set points in the first set and securing the lead after nearly an hour 7-5 on a break in the final game of the opener.
Pavlyuchenkova ran off seven straight games into the second set to reach 3-0. Suarez Navarro rallied briefly with a love game, 1-3, but eventually went down on 43 unforced errors as the Russian seed won on her first match point, a forehand winner.
Pavlyuchenkova becomes the first Russian women’s champion in Portugal since Maria Kirilenko five years ago.