Agnieszka Radwanska dominated top seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to claim her first title in three years with victory at the WTA San Diego Open.
Radwanska, the third seed from Poland, played all week with a nerve problem in her heavily taped right shoulder. But she improved on her runner-up finish here last year to Svetlana Kuznetsova.
"I really was playing good on these courts, I was playing better and better every match. The conditions were working for me," Radwanska said.
"The shoulder was pretty much the same all week. But playing these tough matches has actually been pretty helpful."
Radwanska hadn't reached a final since her appearance here last year, but on Sunday her triumph snapped Zvonareva's match winning streak at nine.
Although Zvonareva was able to save one match point, she ultimately couldn't hold off Radwanska and smashed a racquet in defeat.
Radwanska needed 79 minutes to complete her first career victory over Zvonareva, a two-time Grand Slam finalist who last beat Radwanska in Miami in March.
"Against top players, you just have to go at 100 percent and be focused since the beginning," said Radwanska. "I'm so glad to finally win a title again, it's been a long time."
"Every match playing against the top players and playing good tennis is a great experience. I feel more comfortable right now with my tennis, so it's a great experience."
Zvonareva said she felt the fatigue of a long semi-final the night before over Ana Ivanovic.
"It was a little bit tough for me physically today, I felt a little bit slower and couldn't stay as aggressive as I wanted," said the Russian. "That gave her a little bit more chances to play her game and move me around the court and around, so I couldn't really dominate.
"I was playing the right shots but my foot work wasn't perfect. Against Agnieszka, when she's playing well, if you have those mistakes, it's tough to win the match. She played a great match."
Radwanska pocketed the first set in 30 minutes on the back of a service break in the fourth game.
She took control of the second set with a break for 2-1 and carried the margin to the win.
Radwanska, playing her seventh career final, claimed her fifth career title but her first since Eastbourne in 2008.
Radwanska quipped that her habit this week of a daily iced mocha might have helped her end her drought.
"When I came here the first day, I was very sleepy and tired. I'm not the coffee person, I don't like coffee.
"But I really had to have one because I was so sleepy. I went to have an iced mocha and I really loved it. It was a really a good one. Maybe it helped me so I kept it up."
She will move up a position to 12th in the WTA world rankings, displacing Kuznetsova, who did not defend her title here because of a groin strain.
Zvonareva, ranked third in the world, lost a final for the first time this year after triumphs at Doha in February and Baku last month.