Maria Sharapova came good in her 13th career final, Indian Wells (California), defeating Russian compatriot Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-2 to win the $5.29 million Indian Wells Masters.
The teenager, who will improve to a world number 5 ranking with the title, mastered swirling winds in the first all-Russian final at the event Saturday.
It was Sharapova's 11th career trophy and first since Birmingham last summer on grass.
"These kind of tournaments mean a lot to me," said the delighted winner. "They give me more confidence because I known I've put in the hard work. You just never know when the hard work will pay off - just trying to stay positive always helps. It's definitely good to see that it did pay off today."
The 18-year-old, who won Wimbledon in 2004, secured her fourth victory over Dementieva in five meetings.
Sharapova said the blustery conditions complicated the match.
"It was so tough out there today," said the holder of a 13-4 record at the desert venue. "You can be playing great tennis and look like crap. You don't don't know if the ball is going in or out. I was just trying to do everything possible to get that extra ball back."
Dementieva, winner of her first major title last month in Tokyo over Martina Hingis, also felt the pressure, losing serve six times in one hour, 21 minutes. She conceded that Sharapova was "able to handle the situation" and dealt better with the wind conditions.
"I usually feel sad when the tournament is finished, but not this time. I'm glad it's over because I just feel it was too much on me. I was playing so many hours on the court, and I feel just a little tired today," Dementieva said.
Sharapova declared herself finally free psychologically of the shoulder injury that has coloured her last few months on court.
Sharapova broke open the first set with three breaks of serve while losing her own service early in the second set before re- establishing superiority.
She produced 30 unforced errors to 39 for Dementieva; Sharapova had 16 winners to seven for her opponent.
"It feels great. I've worked hard and been through a tough few months with injury," said Sharapova. "But I still worked hard, believed in myself."
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