Pavlyuchenkova claims Hong Kong title in early hours
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova outlasted Daria Gavrilova in a titanic tussle in Hong Kong, where the weather led to a very late finish.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was crowned Hong Kong Open champion in the early hours of Monday morning after coming through a rain-affected battle with Daria Gavrilova to win her third WTA singles title of the season.
It was after 1am local time when Pavlyuchenkova, who now has 11 career singles titles, finally saw off Gavrilova, who saved two match points before a rain delay but went down 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-3) following the resumption after three hours and 11 minutes on court.
The players faced a lengthy wait to get the final under way due to the weather and there was little to choose when they finally started a showdown that swung one way and the other.
Sixth seed Pavlyuchenkova made up for lost time by easing into a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Gavrilova fought back from 5-3 down to win four games in a row and take the first set.
There was a sense of deja vu when Pavlyuchenkova also won the first three games of the second set and although seventh seed Gavrilova got back on serve at 3-2, the Russian broke for a second time in the set and went on to level the match.
There were eight consecutive breaks in a tense final set and it was Pavlyuchenkova who eventually came out on top following another break, putting the disappointment of twice being unable to serve out for the title behind her to edge a tie-break in which she trailed 3-1.