Mladenovic wins St Petersburg title

Kristina Mladenovic, ranked 51st in the world, won a tough three-setter 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 in two hours and 36 minutes to earn a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head record with Yulia Putintseva.

Kristina Mladenovic kisses the trophy after a hard fought three-set win against Yulia Putintseva.   -  AFP

France's Kristina Mladenovic won her maiden WTA singles title overcoming Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva in the final of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy here on Sunday.

Mladenovic, ranked 51st in the world, won a tough three-setter 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4 in two hours and 36 minutes to earn a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head record with 22-year-old Putintseva.

"It was a very difficult week with plenty of close matches," Mladenovic said.

"Today it was also tough as Yulia (Putintseva) is such a big fighter. I couldn't relax and couldn't find my rhythm. All the match it was up and down and I tried really hard to stay calm and composed.

"Finally I did everything right to win my first title and now I'm super-glad."

The big-hitting Mladenovic, 23, looked in complete command on the hard court of the Sibur Arena from the start breaking twice in the opening set for a 1-0 lead after 43 minutes.

The pair traded breaks throughout the second set, which went to a tiebreak as the Moscow-born Putintseva's accuracy saw her pull the scores level at one set all after one hour and 46 minutes on court.

In the deciding set, Mladenovic, who was contesting her fourth WTA final, produced two more breaks to take the set, the match and the title.

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