French 23-year-old Kristina Mladenovic won the first title of her career on Sunday, defeating Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4 at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in Russia.
She broke an 0-3 career streak in finals, this week upending Australian Open finalist Venus Williams and defending champion Roberta Vinci en route to the championship match.
Putintseva also left a trail of seeded players en route to the final, ousting former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova and former Slam finalist Dominika Cibulkova, both in three sets to reach her first WTA final.
Mladenovic ran out to a lead in the third and served for the match twice but failed to close out four match points. Putintseva won three straight games before Mladenovic finally closed it out 6-4.
The quality match, ending after the 2-1/2 hour mark, had Mladenovic at +16 winners to unforced errors, and Putintseva at +11.
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