Sloane Stephens hits the ball against Angelique Kerber of Germany, during their semifinal tennis match at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C., Saturday, April 9, 2016. Kerber retired in the second set. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton
April 10, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) American Sloane Stephens outlasted Elena Vesnina to capture her third WTA title this year with a 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory at the Volvo Car Open on Sunday.

The seventh-seeded Stephens squandered a 5-2 lead in the opening set before prevailing in a tiebreaker. She let three match points disappear in the contest's final game before Vesnina hit her service return wide to secure the match.

The 23-year-old Stephens won her fourth career tournament and third of 2016, adding the year's first clay court event to victories at Auckland and Acapulco. She advanced to the final when Australian Open champ Angelique Kerber, the top seed, retired in the semifinals Saturday.

Vesnina, who had to qualify last weekend to make the main draw, showed her grit despite playing her eighth match of the tournament.

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