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Elise Mertens wins Samsung Open for 3rd career WTA title

Elise Mertens from Belgium rejoices after winning against Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus during the final match at the Samsung Open WTA tennis tournament in Lugano, Switzerland, on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Ti-Press/Pablo Gianinazzi/KEYSTONE via AP)

LUGANO, Switzerland (AP) Second-seeded Elise Mertens won the Samsung Open on Sunday, beating Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-2 to take her third career WTA Tour title.

The 20th-ranked Belgian clinched on her first match point when the 19-year-old Sabalenka from Belarus netted a two-handed, backhand approach shot.

Mertens won her first clay-court event after winning the past two editions of the Hobart International on hard courts in Australia.

Sunday was a relatively simple end to the rain-hit tournament for the 22-year-old Mertens after her long Saturday shift of three-set victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Sabalenka, ranked No. 61, is now 0-2 in tournament finals. She hit 24 winners Sunday but also had 35 unforced errors.

Updated April 15, 2018

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