AFP - Serbian second seed Jelena Jankovic beat Spain's Carla Suarez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the final of the first edition of the 500,000-dollar WTA Andalucia Tennis Experience claycourt here on Sunday.
It was the first title of the season for Jankovic, who had been the favourite to win the tournament after world number one Serena Williams crashed out on Wednesday at the hands of Klara Zakopalova from the Czech Republic.
But the persistance on the part of local favourite Suarez meant Jankovic, the world number four, had to work hard for her 10th career singles title.
Under sunny but breezy conditions, the Serb won the first set comfortably with wide breaks from the back of the court before a resurgent Suarez used one of her five break points to take the second set.
But the Spaniard appeared to run out of steam in the third as Jankovic raced to a 5-1 lead and her first title win since October.
"I know that I have not played well during the past three months but after this win I have regained the confidence that I needed," she said.
Jankovic easily won both of her prior meetings with Suarez, including a French Open quarter-final victory last year.