Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova to retain Pan Pacific title
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark poses with the winner's plate after beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki overwhelmed Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 to retain her Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday.
The victory gives Wozniacki, also champion in Tokyo in 2010, her first title of the year. The Dane had lost all six of her previous finals in 2017.
"This was my seventh final of the year — it gets harder to get that last win," said world No. 6 Wozniacki, who has now won at least one title every year since 2008. "I've been putting myself in a position to win all year. It was really important for me to stay focused and positive."
Wozniacki had crushed world No.1 Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and a similar score looked on the cards here Sunday.
"The court suits my game. She plays powerfully so it was important for me to make her move around early on. In the first set everything was going my way. In the second set she served better, so it was tricky for me to break."
The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to get a foothold.
"I was really disappointed in the first three games," said the Russian. "I felt I was a bit unlucky and really believe if I had turned those points round and won the games, it may have been a different match. I was a little down on myself and missed more than I should."
The Russian fought harder in a second set that went with serve until the 12th and final game.
Yet she failed to earn a break point in the match and appeared outclassed in her first Premier-level final since Moscow in 2015. Semifinal opponent Angelique Kerber was the only seed she faced this week before third-seeded Wozniacki.
"It's disappointing to lose no matter which round it is, even more disappointing in the final," said Pavlyuchenkova, who needed three sets to win all four of her matches en route to the final.
"I felt a little flat due to the previous matches. I didn't have so much energy left."