Wozniacki whips Russian to retain Tokyo crown

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TOKYO: Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki romped to a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Sunday to win her third WTA Pan Pacific Open.

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The Danish former world number one needed only 75 minutes to complete the rout under the Tokyo sunshine, capturing her first title of the year after losing in six finals.

Third seed Wozniacki stormed through the first set in just 22 minutes, blazing winners past a stunned Pavlyuchenkova.

The Russian saved a match point in the 10th game of the second set before Wozniacki converted on her third opportunity, the world number six fizzing a backhand pass down the line to claim her 26th career title.

“It was my seventh final this year and obviously after a while it gets harder and harder,” said Wozniacki after winning her first tournament since Hong Kong in October last year.

“Obviously I’ve won here in the past and it has great memories for me so I’m happy I was able to stay focused and aggressive,” she added.

“Everything was going my way in the first set. The second set was tricky but I managed to stay positive and it feels great to win the title again. It was awesome.”

Wozniacki, also Tokyo winner in 2010 and runner-up in 2014, joined former greats Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini with three Pan Pacific Open crowns.

Martina Hingis holds the record with five.

Wozniacki, who destroyed world number one Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals, never gave Pavlyuchenkova a chance in their first meeting since 2012.

AFP

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