Serb top seed Ana Ivanovic earned her first title of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday to extend a run of gloom for the Russian. ( dpa )
Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open winner, has now lost eight of her last nine finals, with her only recent success last August coming by virtue of an injury withdrawal by an opponent at New Haven, Connecticut.
Kuznetsova last won a trophy in Beijing 18 months ago.
Ivanovic played up to her top seeding in the one hour, 21-minute victory - the 16th of the season for the Basle-based Serb.
She was cheered throughout by flag-waving compatriots perched high in the stands at this desert venue.
The win was the fifth from six meetings for Ivanovic, who will remain world number two behind Belgian Justine Henin with another major in Miami looming at the end of the week.
Ivanovic earned a break of Kuznetsova in the ninth game of the opening set as the Russian sailed a forehand long. A game later, the 20-year-old Ivanovic lifted the opener after 40 minutes.
Ivanovic took the early lead 2- 1 in the second set but lost her break a game later as Kuznetsova struggled to stay in the contest.
Ivanovic again moved ahead for 5-3 on a love game and closed out the win with a concluding break of the hard-luck Russian. Ivanovic struck 30 winners and broke four times on the way to the sixth title of her career.
It was the third time this season on the WTA that the top two tournament seeds had contested a final, with the number one triumphing on each occasion.