Martina Hingis-coached Pavlyuchenkova clinches maiden clay title
Spain’s David Ferrer will play his 37th final when he and Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka line up on Sunday for the clay title at the Portugal Open.
The top seed dispatched Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-4 in 70 minutes while Wawrinka ended the run of Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta as the second seed posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win in a match marred by complaints about on-court coaching from the Spaniard's box.
The women’s title was settled when Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-2 to claim her first trophy on clay. The third seed, coached by former Swiss great Martina Hingis, earned the fifth title of her career while leaving her opponent winless from five finals.
Pavlyuchenkova has been working with Hingis officially for just a few weeks and the game style and fighting determination of Switzerland’s five-time Grand Slam champion may be rubbing off on the 21-year-old right-hander. “She was really happy with the win,” said Pavlyuchenkova of her mentor’s first win as a coach.
The winner was less than thrilled with a slow start to her own game. “I was pissed with the way I started. But then I relaxed, and started waiting for my chances after she had pinned me to the baseline.
“I was trying to dictate and wait for the right moment. It worked at the end.” Pavlyuchenkova was flying straight to Spain later Saturday for a first-round start at the Madrid Masters against world number three Victoria Azarenka, who has not played for more than a month due to injury and has yet to step on to clay.
“It’s a really tough draw, but for both of us. She’s not played for a while and I already have some events on clay. “I can’t say what will happen but I’ll try my best. I won’t be scared, that’s for sure. I’ll just go out there and try to make her play.” Pavlyuchenkova now owns five career titles, including two this season after winning the Monterrey event for a third time.