Russia's Alexandrova wins maiden WTA title in Shenzhen

Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia won her first WTA singles title at the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in China

Ekaterina Alexandrova won her first WTA singles title after the in-form Russian defeated Elena Rybakina in straight sets in the final of the Shenzhen Open on Saturday.

The fifth seed won 6-2, 6-4 in 73 minutes to begin her season and her Australian Open preparations with a bang.

The 25-year-old Alexandrova, ranked a career-high 34th in the world, collapsed to her knees after dismissing Rybakina, the seventh seed from Kazakhstan.

"I didn't expect the first set to be so easy so I knew the second set would be so much tougher," said Alexandrova, who is poised for the top 30 in the world.

"In the second set I think she played well but after I got the break to make it 4-4, she got a bit nervous.

"It feels amazing to win my first title, I don't know what to say.

"The first title is always special."

Alexandrova, who triumphed in a WTA 125K event in Limoges, France last month, defeated former world number one Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals in southern China.