Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova secured her first WTA title of the season when she won the Open GDF Suez in Paris on the weekend.
Pavlyuchenkova defeated Italy’s Sara Errani in three sets in the final, having previously knocked out compatriot, and top seed, Maria Sharapova in the semis.
And in an exclusive with GiveMeSport, the 22-year-old says she had belief entering into the tournament that her form was good enough to secure a first title since the Portugal Open in May 2013.
“I was pretty confident coming into this tournament as I’ve had pretty good performances and good matches in Australia. Now I need to work even harder to keep this level,” she said.
During the final, Errani rolled off seven games in a row, but that didn’t stop Pavlyuchenkova coming back to triumph. She added: “I wanted to win the title, so this was pushing me forward and I always fight back until the end and always have since I was a little girl.”
On beating Sharapova, along with two other top-ten players, Pavlyuchenkova claimed it gave her belief that she can break into the top ten.
“I always believe in it, that’s why I work hard everyday throughout my career," she explained. "There is always a bit of pressure, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy to play against Maria and I especially wanted to win, I did my best and I won."
As for the rest of the season, Pavlyuchenkova wants “to keep improving on court and have good results, and of course climb the rankings. Step-by-step we will see.”
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