Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Swede Johanna Larsson won titles on Saturday leading into the French Open.
The No. 3-seeded Pavlyuchenkova beat No. 5 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(6), to win the Internationaux de Strasbourg title, saving two match points.
“It was tough to believe I could win this match, because to me it felt like I was always behind,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “It’s unbelievable. I think it’s maybe the longest match I’ve had on the tour, and to have a final like that is impressive.”
Pavlyuchenkova won more matches in Strasbourg than she had previously won all year.
Larsson won her first WTA title in three years at the Nurnberger Versicherungscup with a straight sets 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over American Alison Riske.
The victory is Larsson’s second title of her career after Bastad in 2015.
“I feel unbelievably happy. Before this week, I arrived here with not that much confidence,” Larsson said after the match.
“Coming and standing with the trophy out there on Center Court is a great feeling. It makes that I can still do this and believe in myself, and especially before a Grand Slam, it’s very important.”
The 29-year-old had won back-to-back matches at WTA level just twice all season before arriving in Nurnberg.
“I lost a little bit in my head in the second set,” she said. “I was still thinking that it was one break. When I held for 4-2, I could see some signs that she was a little bit tired, and that gave me a lot of energy to fight back.”
Larsson almost won the doubles also, teaming with Kirsten Flipkens and losing in the final to Demi Schuurs and Katarina Srebotnik 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.
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