Oeiras, Portugal – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova denied Carla Suarez Navarro her first WTA title with a straight-set win in Saturday's final of the Portugal Open.
Pavlyuchenkova claimed a 7-5, 6-2 triumph for her fifth career WTA crown, while Suarez Navarro finished as the runner-up for a fifth time without a victory.
"I am happy about how I played this week and I am looking forward to the rest of the clay-court swing," said Suarez Navarro, not dwelling on her finals struggles. "I really enjoy coming to Lisbon and playing at this tournament."
The third-seeded Russian improved to 5-2 lifetime in finals, including 2-1 this year. She lost to Serena Williams at the season-opener in Brisbane and beat Angelique Kerber last month in Monterrey.
Suarez Navarro, seeded fourth this week, was appearing in the final of this event for the second year in a row. She lost to Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in last year's title match when the tournament was held in Estoril, but gained a measure of a revenge with a win over Kanepi in Friday's semifinals.
The Spaniard opened a 4-2 lead on Saturday, but Pavlyuchenkova quickly turned it around. She won five of the next six games to close out the first set and captured the first three games of the second set.
"I definitely had a slow start," said Pavlyuchenkova. "Carla was moving me around and flying with a lot of spin, but I am happy to have solved how to beat her. I relaxed and waited for my chance. I fought for every point, I dug in and it helped me in the end."
Suarez Navarro never recovered and fell to 0-2 in finals this year. She lost to Sara Errani in the Acapulco title match back in March.
"I had a chance to win the first set, but I could not convert my chances," added Suarez Navarro. "She raised her level toward the end of the set and then made very few mistakes."
Pavlyuchenkova has now won each of the five meetings with Suarez Navarro and picked up a first prize of $235,000.