In the battle of the two top seeds, Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic solidly defeated Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 6-3 in the Pacific Life Open final for her sixth career title and the first one of the season.
In the first set there were no breaks until the ninth game when top-seeded Ivanovic made a crucial break and then quickly served out for the set without losing a point. The second set was a bit more undecided. The players exchanged breaks early in the set, but again Ivanovic made a break that proved to be fatal for Kuznetsova – Ivanovic broke for a 4-3 lead, and then cruised to victory losing only one point.
Kuznetsova simply can’t win a final any more. The Russian has lost eight of her last nine finals, and that lone title came with an injury retirement win at New Haven last August.
Despite winning the Pacific Life Open, Ivanovic will remain the second-ranked player in the world, but Kuznetsova will fall from No.3 to No.4.
Ivanovic has now extanded her head-to-head record against Kuznetsova to 5-1 and has at the same time scored her first straight-set victory over the Russian.
Runner-up Kuznetsova has earned $163,000 at Indian Wells, while champion Ivanovic takes home $332,000.