Evgenia Medvedeva stumbled on her first jump and then nailed all the others as she successfully defended her title at the Grand Prix Final on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Russian could afford to make a mistake, however, having set a world record in the short program.
When she came onto the ice for her free skate, the cheers were still echoing around the Palais Omnisports in Marseille following a clinical and elegant performance from Japan's Satoko Miyahara to the sounds of Gustav Holst's "The Planets."
Medvedeva appeared a little nervous. It showed as she stumbled backward on the ice after landing awkwardly on a triple flip, triple toe loop. She glared at the ice, giving it a look of disdain.
Olympic champion Hanyu took gold despite a fall which saw the 22-year-old place just third in the free skating final in Marseille. American Nathan Chen landed four quadruple jumps in his free skate to move up from fifth to silver medal position with Japan's Shoma Uno taking a second consecutive bronze.
The three men's favourites -- Hanyu, Spaniard Javier Fernandez and Canadian Patrick Chan -- all had bad tumbles during the elite six-skater competition.
"I don't know what happened today. I was feeling a little tired, every jump was hard," said Hanyu who scored 293.90 points in total, over ten points ahead of Chen (282.85), who put the US men back on the podium for the first time since 2009, with Uno scoring 282.51.