Mladenovic beats Putintseva to win St. Petersburg title

Mladenovic beats Putintseva to win St. Petersburg title
France's Kristina Mladenovic returns the ball to Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva during the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2017 tennis tournament final match in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — France's Kristina Mladenovic won her first WTA title on Sunday, beating Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in the final of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

Mladenovic had lost her three previous career finals, but the hard-fought 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4 victory over Putintseva ensured she finally got off the mark.

Putintseva seemed to have momentum in her first final after winning the second-set tiebreak after poor serving by Mladenovic but the French player hit back hard in the decider.

The win caps a strong tournament for Mladenovic, who showed her talent with convincing straight-sets wins over Venus Williams and defending St. Petersburg champion Roberta Vinci in the earlier rounds.

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