Maria Sharapova captured her first WTA title of 2007 with a victory at the 1.34 million-dollar San Diego Classic.
The top-seeded Russian defeated Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 on Sunday to repeat as champion at the hardcourt tournament that proved a springboard to her US Open triumph weeks later.
Sharapova had appeared to be on her way to another runaway victory after taking the first set in convincing fashion.
But Schnyder converted a critical break point in the second set to go ahead, 5-3, and served out the set to force the winner-take-all finale.
"I don't think we've ever played an easy match," Sharapova said. "She's a lefty so she makes it extra tricky for everyone."
Sharapova restored her momentum in the decisive set, breaking Schnyder in the second game before winning the final four games to close out the match.
The Russian, ranked second in the world, improved to 6-1 lifetime against Schnyder and has won the last five meetings between the players, including a thrilling three-set triumph in the fourth round of this year's French Open.
In winning her first tournament since Linz last October, the 20-year-old Russian appears fully recovered from a shoulder injury which had sidelined her since Wimbledon.