Pavlyuchenkova rallies past Errani for Paris title


The Sports Network

Paris, France ( - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova rallied past Sara Errani to capture the GDF Suez Open title on Sunday.

Pavlyuchenkova earned a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory in a see-saw final to capture her sixth career WTA title. She improved to 6-3 all-time in finals.

The 22-year-old Russian went three sets in each of her five matches and knocked off three of the tournament's top four seeds this week. She eliminated fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals, then stunned top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the semis before beating the third-seeded Errani on Sunday.

Pavlyuchenkova opened a 3-1 lead in the first set Sunday, but watched Errani run off the next seven games. The Italian held a game point for a 3-0 edge in the second set, but Pavlyuchenkova saved it and went on to win the next seven games to grab a 1-0 lead in the third.

"When I lost seven games in a row I don't really know what happened," said Pavlyuchenkova. "Maybe I was a little stressed because I was missing some shots and she was so solid. Also, I was serving so well throughout the tournament and there were times today where I was struggling on serve. But I knew it was from my side, so if I just focused and kept fighting I could get it back."

Errani, though, battled back and won three straight before Pavlyuchenkova again regrouped. The Russian dropped just six points the rest of the way and finished the match with a forehand winner.

"I'm still very happy I could make the final," said Errani, who cited fatigue after a three-hour semifinal against Alize Cornet on Saturday. "I had very good matches from the first round, but I was a little bit more tired than normal in the match today because of yesterday. It was very tough to recover. But it was still a very good week for me."

Errani, coming off a surprising first-round loss at the Australian Open, fell to 7-8 all-time in finals. She finished as the runner-up at this event for the second straight year, falling to Mona Barthel in 2013.

Pavlyuchenkova beat Errani for the second time in as many meetings, also winning a Fed Cup matchup in 2011.

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