MOSCOW – Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic recovered from a set down to outclass local favourite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6 6-1 6-1 in the Kremlin Cup final on Sunday to win her second title of the season and fourth overall.
The world number 10 switched gears after losing the opening set, dropping only two of the last 14 games in a stunning show to swat aside the 2014 champion.
"It feels unbelievable right now. I still can’t imagine it," said Bencic, who on Saturday became the eighth and final player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
"I had no pressure going into this match. We were so happy yesterday, celebrating (Shenzhen). This is the cherry on top."
The 22-year-old will make her debut in the WTA Finals, which take place from October 27 to November 3, offering prize money of $14 million. Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina are the other qualifiers.
In the men’s final, Russia’s Andrey Rublev mowed down seventh seed Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-0 in 62 minutes on his 21st birthday to seal his first title since 2017.