Pavlyuchenkova beats Friedsam in Linz final for 8th title
LINZ, Austria (AP) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova clinched her first title of the season by defeating Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the Generali Ladies on Sunday.
It was the eighth WTA title overall for the 29th-ranked Russian, who improved to 8-4 in career finals. She had lost her only other final this year - in Washington in August.
Pavlyuchenkova, who stretched her unbeaten streak in indoor hardcourt events to 15 matches after winning in Paris and Moscow last year, overcame thigh problems to take the title.
''My legs were not so great today,'' said the former 13th-ranked Russian, who had her left upper leg taped before the match started and needed treatment on her other leg between sets. ''But it's a final so you try not to think about it.''
Playing in her maiden final, the 118th-ranked Friedsam dropped her serve in the opening game.
The seventh-seeded Pavlyuchenkova - the only seeded player to make it beyond the second round - avoided break points to take the first set.
The Russian went 2-0 down in the second set before winning four straight games. She closed out the win by breaking Friedsam's serve for a fourth time.
''I have to thank my coach Sascha (Mueller) who has managed to improve my game step by step, especially after my injury,'' said the German, who was ranked a career-high 73rd in July when she sprained her ankle at the clay-court event in Bad Gastein and was out for six weeks.
Friedsam failed to win another match until reaching the quarterfinals in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, two weeks ago.