Vinci beats Bencic to St Petersburg title


Roberta Vinci overcame number one seed Belinda Bencic in straight sets to win the inaugural St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Sunday.

The 32-year-old ended a run of four consecutive defeats in final appearances, including a loss at the 2015 US Open, to claim her first title since beating Sara Errani in Palermo in 2013.

In a tightly-contested opening set with both players struggling to hold their serve, Vinci edged ahead by saving four of the teenager Bencic's six break points and winning three of her own.

The Italian stepped up a gear in the second set, hitting four aces and claiming 15 of a possible 16 points off her first serve.

Vinci then took advantage of the only break point that came her way, seeing out a 6-4 6-3 victory.

However, there was a form of consolation for Bencic with her place in the final ensuring she will move into the top 10 of the WTA rankings.