Unseeded Vesnina opened the match with a service break and led 4-1. However, Errani began to apply heavy forehands with spin that earned her win four games in a row to take the first set.
In the second, Errani was 5-2 up before Vesnina regained her focus and charged back to within one point of leveling the score. Instead, Errani pulled herself together and earned her fifth career title on the WTA tour.
“Elena was playing very strong, I had to run a lot to return her shots,” Errani said.
“I didn’t imagine winning any title this year, and now I have won the third one.”
This was Vesnina’s sixth WTA final and she has lost all of them.
“I tried to play aggressive throughout the match, but the slow court suited Sara’s game better than my style of play,” Vesnina said.
US Open champion Samantha Stosur got off to a winning start at the Madrid Masters on Saturday, the Australian advancing to the second round with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) defeat of Croatian Petra Martic.
Stosur was joined by Romanian Sorana Cirstea, who upset French seventh seed Marion Bartoli 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-3. French Open winner Li Na, the eighth seed, also made it through after dominating her opener against teenaged Madrid debutante Garbine Muguruza Blanco of Spain, who saved two match points before finally falling 6-2, 6-4. Unseeded Mona Barthel won an all-German battle, eliminating last year’s semi-finalist Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-1.
“This time last year, I was ranked around 200 and now I’m close to being seeded,” Barthel said, making her Madrid debut. “It feel strange, but I worked hard for it. “I’m serving well and moving better on the clay and I’m obviously benefiting from confidence right now.”
Venus Williams, the losing finalist two years ago, was pushed hard by Romanian Simona Halep before winning 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), while Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa beat Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 6-2.