Kerber topples Ivanovic for Linz title

Linz, Austria (SportsNetwork.com) - Angelique Kerber claimed her first title of the year with a straight-set victory over Ana Ivanovic in Sunday's final of the Generali Ladies Linz tournament.

The top-seeded Kerber posted a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) victory for her third career title. The German had been 0-2 in finals this year, falling to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Monterrey back in April and Petra Kvitova in Tokyo just last month. She won her first two titles last year -- in Paris and Copenhagen.

"I'm really happy to win my first WTA tournament of the year here," said Kerber. "I was just trying to stay aggressive in the important moments and I think that was the biggest key to victory at the end."

Ivanovic was trying for a third Linz crown. She previously won in 2008 and again in 2010. Sunday was the Serb's first final of 2013 and first since her last tournament win two years ago in Bali.

The former world No. 1 star is now 11-5 all-time in finals.

Sunday's match featured 11 breaks of serve. Kerber came up with three in the first set, while Ivanovic had two.

After each broke serve three times in the second set, Ivanovic was close to forcing a third set with a 6-4 edge in the tiebreak. Kerber, instead, won the final four points to finish the match.

"There were a lot of turnarounds from both sides, but she played better in the important moments," said Ivanovic. "I feel like I had more chances, but just didn't use them. I hit some errors when I really needed the point."

Kerber has now beaten Ivanovic twice this fall, also prevailing last month in Tokyo, after losing each of the first three meetings.

Now 3-5 all-time in finals, Kerber also collected a first prize of $43,600.