Indian Wells (California):Vera Zvonareva captured the biggest title of her career, downing former world number one Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to win the Indian Wells WTA title.
Russia's Zvonareva, the fourth seed, denied fifth-seeded Ivanovic a second straight title in the 4.5 million-dollar tournament, one of the elite premier mandatory events on the women's tour on Sunday.
The 24-year-old kept her cool in gusting winds that surged around stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, contributing to 46 unforced errors from Ivanovic.
Both players struggled with the wind, which interfered with their service tosses, stirred up occasional clouds of dust and forced a few rallies to be abandoned as debris was blown across the court.
"Thanks to all of you for coming out today and staying with us in this crazy weather," Zvonareva told the crowd.
Under the circumstances, it wasn't surprising to see each player broken twice in an opening set that lasted an hour and 18 minutes.
Zvonareva saved three set points in the 12th game, holding serve to force the tiebreaker.
Ivanovic, the reigning French Open champion who has fallen to number seven in the world, took a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker, but surrendered the set with three straight forehand errors.
The Serbian broke Zvonareva in the opening game of the second and held for a 2-0 lead, but wouldn't win another game.
Zvonareva, the Olympic bronze medallist in Beijing last August, captured her ninth career title and second of the season after her victory at Pattaya City in February.
She is projected to pass American Venus Williams for the number five spot when the WTA rankings are released today, moving up from her current sixth in the world.