France’s Mladenovic beats Kazakhstan’s Putintseva in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, Feb 6 (IANS) French tennis sensation Kristina Mladenovic clinched the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy after beating Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 in the final here.
The 23-year-old Mladenovic, the world’s third-ranked doubles player, needed two hours and 36 minutes to win her first singles title on Sunday, reports Efe.
Putintseva, who is ranked 34th in the world, continued her trend of the past week, rallying from behind to win sets.
On her way to the final, Putintseva upset Russian world No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova in Friday’s quarter-finals and Slovakian world No. 5 Dominika Cibulkova in Saturday’s semi-finals.
The 22-year-old Putintseva, a Moscow native who represents Kazakhstan in international competitions, came back from 2-5 down in the second set and ran away with the tiebreaker, forcing a decisive third set.
In the third set, Putintseva was down 1-5 and came back to 4-5, saving four championship points, one on a passing shot from way beind the baseline that hit the line, and the other three on return of serve winners.
Mladenovic, the world No. 51, finally dug in and finished off the match with a forehand winner.