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TENNIS | ST PETERSBURG

Vinci defeats Bencic to claim Saint Petersburg title

The Italian world number 16's greater experience of the big occasion told in defeat of teenager Bencic, who will move into top 10 next week.

Vinci defeats Bencic to claim Saint Petersburg title
Dmitri Lovetsky AP

Second seed Roberta Vinci won the St Petersburg tournament on Sunday by beating top-seeded Belinda Bencic in straight sets in Sunday's final.

The Italian toppled the 18-year-old Swiss, ranked 11th in the world, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 19 minutes to claim her 10th WTA singles title and first since 2013.

"It was much tougher than the scoreline suggests," Vinci said. "I had to stay focused on every single point, but I think I served really well today and that was probably the key. Belinda is a great player and today she just missed a few important balls."

World number 16 Vinci looked in good form from the start, keeping her teenage opponent under pressure.

The 32-year-old doubles specialist broke twice in the opening set but Bencic, who will break into the world's top 10 for the first time on Monday, hit back on both occasions to level at four games all.

But last season's US Open runner-up Vinci grabbed the deciding break in the 10th game to claim the first set in 44 minutes.

In the second set just one break in game four was enough to seal victory in the first ever meeting between the two.