Kiki Bertens eases past Elena Rybakina to secure second straight St Petersburg Ladies' Trophy
World No 8 Kiki Bertens has successfully defended her St Petersburg Ladies' Open trophy with a straight sets victory over Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina.
The 28 year-old, who had only won one WTA Tour title since the last edition of the Russian event 12 months ago, beat her more inexperienced opponent 6-1 6-3 in a dominant display of power and accuracy.
Rybakina held her serve in the opening game, but was made to pay from then on as Bertens went on a run of six successive games to take the first set at a canter.
The 20-year-old Kazakh then spurned four break-point opportunities in the opening game of the second set, only to be broken herself three games later as Bertens closed out the win in professional fashion.
After the match, the Dutch victor said: "To defend your title, it's always something special. You come with such great memories, and if it happens where you have a beautiful trophy again, I'm more than happy.
"This week was a really tough week. We lost Saturday night in the deciding doubles, 7-6 in the third set and 10-8 in the tiebreak. It was a really tough day. Sunday, I was flying here already, but I think I was still crying for the whole night because I felt so bad after that tough loss.
"I was coming here and putting all the energy I still had left in me during my matches. My team was pushing me this week, so I'm really thankful for that. You can still achieve anything if you just work hard and fight every day to win a match, and you can still hold a trophy at the end of the week."