Acapulco, Mexico (Sports Network) - Italian Sara Errani ousted compatriot Flavia Pennetta 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 to claim the Acapulco title at the $220,000 Mexican Open.
Errani was put to the test in a three-set thriller that lasted two hours and 28 minutes on the red clay at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess.
Pennetta, who won this event in 2005 and 2008, and was runner-up in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009, opened the match strong in the first set.
Errani had straight-setted all four of her previous opponents and seemed to turn it on in the second set after dropping the first, much the way she did when she ousted top-seed Roberta Vinci in the semis by winning 10 of the last 11 games of the match.
Pennetta took her to a tiebreak, but Errani dominated 7-2 to steal the second set.
Errani then cruised in the third as she won 10-of-13 first serve points and 12-of-15 second return points for the 6-0 set victory and the title.
"It was such a tough final against Flavia," Errani said. "I had to run a lot and try to play my game and be aggressive in the important moments. It's never easy playing an Italian but I played really well, especially in the third set. I can take a lot of confidence from this going into Indian Wells, but I always want more."
The Italian Errani improved to 3-3 in WTA finals, while Pennetta fell to 9-13 in her career in title matches. Errani is now 2-3 against Pennetta in their head-to-head series.
This marked the first all-Italian WTA final since Barcelona in April 2010, when Francesca Schiavone beat Vinci for the title. It was also the first time since Palermo in July 2009 that three Italians reached the semifinals of a WTA event.
"We both played well tonight, but Sara played really well in the important moments," Pennetta said. "I made a lot of mistakes in the tie-break and in the third set I was tired physically and it went really fast. It has been a great week overall, but it would have been better to win the tournament.
"I'm happy I have a rest now before Indian Wells. I feel I'm playing much better now than when I got here, so I hope to play some good tennis there."
Errani will collect $37,000 as Acapulco champion, while Pennetta takes home $19,000 for her runner-up finish.
03/04 03:33:56 ET