TOKYO - Eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova claimed her first title of the season and second overall with a comprehensive 7-5 6-1 win over world number four Jessica Pegula in the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo on Sunday.
An aggressive Kudermetova wasted little time unleashing her powerful shots from the baseline and broke American Pegula early for a 3-0 lead, but she dropped her own serve in the fifth game before allowing her opponent to draw level in the first set.
An untimely double fault from Pegula gifted Kudermetova the opening set, and the Russian world number 19 raised her intensity again in the next set as she raced ahead 5-1 before closing out the contest on her third matchpoint with a big serve.
It was Kudermetova's second win over Pegula this season - following her victory in the Madrid quarter-finals - and a fifth win in her last six matches against top-10 opponents.
The 26-year-old had battled past world number two Iga Swiatek earlier in the tournament.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)