Defending champion Vinci reaches 2nd round in St. Petersburg


Published 6:14 a.m. ET Jan. 31, 2017 | Updated 14 hours ago

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Roberta Vinci started the defense of her St. Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Timea Babos on Tuesday.

The sixth-seeded Italian was broken five times but still advanced to face German veteran Andrea Petkovic in the second round.

There was worse luck for the woman Vinci beat in last year’s final, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, who was beaten 6-2, 7-5 in her first-round meeting with eighth-seeded Daria Kasatkina.

Also Tuesday, Kristina Mladenovic of France beat Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens 7-6 (5), 6-4 and will next face Australian Open…

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