Tue, Feb 05, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Bertens beats Vekic in final

Reuters

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands returns to Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy singles final at the Sibur Arena in Russia on Sunday.

Photo: AFP)

Second seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands on Sunday beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 to win the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy and claim her eighth WTA Tour singles title.

Bertens, the world No. 8, was slow out of the blocks and found herself trailing 5-2 in the first set before staging a remarkable turnaround.

“I would like to say to Donna congratulations on a great week and sorry for today,” Bertens said after collecting the trophy at a glittering presentation ceremony. “It was an amazing final to play... I will be back next year.”

The Dutchwoman won 17 of 18 points to first draw level and then win the first-set tiebreak against Vekic, nearly breaking the Croatian’s will with that unexpected surge before breaking her serve early in the second set.

Vekic, 22, refused to surrender without a fight, breaking back and winning three games in a row before Bertens rallied to snuff out any chance of the match being pushed to a third set with a second decisive break of serve.

Bertens served for the match at 5-4, racing into a 40-0 lead, but then displayed some jitters as she allowed Vekic to level at deuce before finally claiming her fourth championship point after her backhand caught the net and dropped short.

Both players made 33 unforced errors, but Bertens won 79 percent of her first-serve points, and sent down eight aces and 27 winners compared with 16 from Vekic.

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