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By Chris Oddo | Sunday April 15, 2018

Elise Mertens

Belgium's Elise Mertens claims her third career title with a straight-sets win over Aryna Sabalenka in Lugano, Switzerland.

Photo Source: AAP

Elise Mertens capped off a grueling run at the Samsung Open in Lugano with a straight-sets win over Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, 7-5, 6-2.

The Belgian, who was on the singles court for nearly five hours on Saturday (even longer when you count doubles), claims her second title of the season to go with a trip to the Australian Open semifinals in January. She improves to 17-6 on the season.

Mertens struck nine winners against 7 unforced errors and broke Sabalenka four times on 12 opportunities to claim her first title on clay.

Sabalenka hit 24 winners to go with 35 unforced errors to drop to 0-2 in career finals.

After a trade of breaks Mertens broke at love for 6-5 in the opener and held to clinch the set. Mertens did not face a break point in the second set and broke in the first game and again in the seventh to expand her lead.

Mertens and Sabalenka will also meet in the doubles final.

Mertens is paired with Kirsten Flipkens; Sabalenka is paired with Vera Lapko.


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