Pavlyuchenkova captures Istanbul tennis title

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ISTANBUL — Russian third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the highest-ranked teenager in the world, defeated compatriot Elena Vesnina 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 on Sunday to capture the Istanbul WTA title.

It was the 19-year-old’s second career trophy after Monterrey earlier this season.

But she had to do it the hard way taking victory after three hours and 10 minutes on court in the final, and rallying from 0-4 in the second set and 1-3 in the third.

Vesnina, who celebrated her 24th birthday on Sunday, came into Istanbul on a seven-match losing streak, having not won a match on the Tour since Charleston in April.

She won four in a row to reach the Istanbul final, her third career title match after runner-up finishes last year at Auckland (to Elena Dementieva) and New Haven (to Caroline Wozniacki).

“Elena played really well and aggressively and didn’t let me play my game. I knew if I won the second set I had a good chance of winning the match,” said Pavlyuchenkova.

“It was so hot, my legs were dead.”

The top two seeds in Istanbul fell early, with No.2 seed Petra Kvitova losing to Anastasija Sevastova and top seed and reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone falling second round to Elena Baltacha.

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