Kerber beats Keys in Charleston WTA final

Germany’s Angelique Kerber out-lasted rising US talent Madison Keys 6-2 4-6 7-5 on Sunday to win the WTA claycourt title in Charleston.

Kerber captured the fourth WTA title of her career, and her first since Linz in 2013.

The fifth seed had ousted defending champion and countrywoman Andrea Petkovic to reach her first final since a runner-up finish to Serena Williams at Stanford last year.

She denied the 20-year-old Keys a second WTA crown in as many finals appearances.

In her only prior title match, Keys surprised Kerber in the final at Eastbourne last year.

Despite the defeat Keys — who reached her first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open this year — is projected to reach a career-high ranking of 17th in the world.

For Kerber, the victory was a much-needed boost after four finals failures last year and an erratic start in 2015.

The 27-year-old German dropped her opening matches at the Australian Open, Antwerp, Doha and Indian Wells this year as she slipped out of the top 10 in the world rankings.

With Sunday’s win she’s projected to jump two places in the rankings to 14th.

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