Bertens beats Rybakina to retain St. Petersburg title

AP Photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Kiki Bertens beat Elena Rybakina 6-1, 6-3 to retain the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Sunday.

It’s the first title of 2020 for the Dutch player, who’s eighth in the world rankings. She hit six aces on the way to victory and held serve throughout.

Second-seeded Bertens needed just 1 hour, 14 minutes to beat Rybakina in the final after fighting off a second-set comeback from Rybakina by saving four break points in the opening game.

Bertens ended a 0-3 streak in tour finals to claim her first tournament win since she beat Simona Halep in Madrid in May. Bertens last successfully defended a title in Nuremburg in 2017.

Eighth-seeded Rybakina, from Kazakhstan, was playing her third final of 2020 after a strong start to the season.