St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy: Kiki Bertens Defeats Croatia's Donna Vekic in Final
St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy: Kiki Bertens Defeats Croatia's Donna Vekic in Final. (photo credit: IANS)

St. Petersburg, February 4: Second-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands rolled to a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 win over Croatia's Donna Vekic to clinch the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy final and claiming the eighth title of her career. Eighth-seeded Vekic blew a set point that could have changed the course of the championship match which lasted one hour and 43 minutes.

"My coach, Raemon Sluiter, told me I was playing the right way, and just needed to keep going for my shots, which I did!" Bertens said after winning the title at the WTA event on Sunday, reports Efe news. Maria Sharapova Wins Her 1st WTA Match in Russia in 13 Years.

The Croatian seemed on her way to another upset - having stunned top seed Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, in the quarterfinals - when she capitalized on her first break point of the match and then dropped two points on serve for a 2-0 lead.

Once more, Vekic put Bertens on her back foot in the third game, but she was able to serve her way out of trouble, getting on the scoreboard for the first time.

The 27-year-old Bertens suffered another blow in the seventh game, when she was broken for the second time in the match and Vekic prepared to serve for the opener.

When it mattered most, however, Bertens came up big, staging a stunning comeback triggered by Vekic's failure to win a point on serve in the eighth game. A pumped up Bertens then proceeded to win the next three games and get another break while Vekic tried to rally.

The Croatian held serve in the 12th game, pushing the set to a tie break that Bertens easily ran away with, losing just two points.

The Dutch player's momentum continued in the second set as she got a break for a 2-1 lead, but Vekic rallied to draw level at 3-3.

Vekic's revival, however, was short-lived as Bertens got another break in the ninth game that proved to be decisive.

Serving for the match, Bertens had three consecutive match points that Vekic fought off but the Dutch player sealed the win in the end. Bertens got revenge for her recent loss to Vekic in the second round of the 2019 Brisbane International tournament.