Maria Sharapova's wait for another WTA Tour title must continue after the four-time grand slam champion suffered a shock defeat in the semifinals of the Paris Open on Saturday.
Top seed Sharapova would have moved back to fourth in the world rankings by winning her 30th career crown this weekend, but was beaten 4-6 6-3 6-4 by fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. "I started the match really well, but as the match continued I wasn't doing the things that really helped me in the first set," said 2012 French Open champion Sharapova, who returned to the tour in January after missing the final third of last season with a shoulder injury. "I wasn't being aggressive, I wasn't in the court -- she was playing with a lot of confidence in the match and I gave her that opportunity to play her game."
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia beat third-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in the final of the Open GDF Suez for her sixth career title.
Errani won seven straight games to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the first set and lead 2-0 in the second. But Pavlyuchenkova responded by also winning seven straight games to even the match and lead 1-0 in the third. In the final set, Pavlyuchenkova hit a backhand return winner to break for a 5-3 lead and sealed the victory with a forehand winner.
Pavlyuchenkova captured her first title of the season and her first since winning the Portugal Open in May 2013.
Seeded duo Sloane Stephens and Roberta Vinci both fell in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open on Monday.
America's Stephens was poor throughout in her first outing on the WTA Tour this season, and will not make an impression on the Premier 5-tier event in Doha. Pironkova's serve was too much for Vinci to handle, the 26-year-old hitting six aces and taking points after landing in two thirds of her first serves.
Tsvetana Pironkova, shown at the 2012 U.S. Open, had an upset win Monday in first-round play of the WTA's Qatar Total Open 2014.
Pironkova extended the recent frustrations of 11th-seeded Roberta Vinci with a 6-3, 6-3 win in which she has six breaks in nine Vinci serving games. Pironkova won 55 percent of the points off Vinci's serve, nearly as high a percentage as when Pironkova served. Vinci is 0-4 this year.
Cetkovska knocked off No. 14-seeded Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-1, taking more than 70 percent of the points in the second set. Cetkovska dropped serve twice in the first set but had three breaks to claim the lead. She finished 5-of-7 in break opportunities.