Tennis-Hingis effect helps Pavlyuchenkova to first title on clay

Sat May 4, 2013 3:43pm BST

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May 4 (Reuters) - Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova warmed up for the French Open by winning her first claycourt title with a 7-5 6-2 win over Spanish fourth seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the Portugal Open final on Saturday.

Pavlyuchenkova's decision to hire five-times grand slam champion Martina Hingis as a coach paid dividends as she completely outplayed her opponent in the second set to win her fifth career title. Her previous four successes were all achieved on hard courts.

The Russian third seed won seven games in a row midway through the match and kept up the momentum to condemn Suarez Navarro to a fifth final defeat in as many attempts.

The French Open begins on May 26. (Writing by Pritha Sarkar in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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