Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova kept a winning streak alive, and German qualifier Mona Barthel re-claimed some of her WTA tour mojo over the weekend at events in Rabat, Morocco, and Prague, Czech Republic.
Pavlyuchenkova won her second consecutive WTA event of the year after Monterrey, beating former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone 7-5, 7-5 for the title at the Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat.
It was her 10th consecutive match win at a WTA event and her 10th career title, improving to 10-5 in career finals.
“We’ve had tough matches before in the past on clay, so I knew it was going to be tough,” the Russian said. “I’m so happy and relieved I won. It’s always nice to win a title, any match — a win is a win, I always say.”
The Russian came back from a break down twice in the first set, and the second set was also a back-and-forth affair on serve, with Schiavone dropping serve five times over the two sets.
“I want to say good job to this girl,” Schiavone said. “When I met her, she was 19 years old and we were playing doubles! She grew up a lot [over the] years…congratulations, I think you deserve much more.”
It was the first loss in a final for Schiavone since the 2011 French Open, and she falls to 7-12 in career finals.
Barthel came from a set and a break down to defeat Kristyna Pliskova 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 for the title at the J&T Banka Prague Open, winning her first title since 2014.
“I still can’t believe it,” said Barthel of beating the local favorite. “It was such a long and tough week, especially today. I felt so exhausted and Kristyna played so well in the first set — I actually don’t know how I did it. I was just trying to fight and trying to keep playing and somehow I made it.”
It was her eighth match in eight days after making it through the qualifying rounds.
“I am completely exhausted,” the German said. “Today I woke up and I was feeling so bad, I was like ‘No, come on, one more day?’ But I don’t know how I managed the final, I think I just gave all my energy and tomorrow I will be completely wasted I guess.”
Barthel could not make the qualifying event for Madrid this week due to her run in Prague, and says she will rest-up for her next event in Rome.
The 26-year-old claimed her first title since Bastad in 2014 and improved to 4-3 in career finals.
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