Elise Mertens defends Hobart International title with win over Mihaela Buzarnescu

Belgian Elise Mertens successfully defended her Hobart International title with a rain-interrupted win over first-time WTA finalist Mihaela Buzarnescu on Saturday.

Elise Mertens defends Hobart International title with win over Mihaela Buzarnescu
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Belgian Elise Mertens successfully defended her Hobart International title with a rain-interrupted win over first-time WTA finalist Mihaela Buzarnescu on Saturday.

The second seeded Mertens downed Romania's 57th-ranked Buzarnescu, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in a decider frequently interrupted by rain.

It was the first time in the 25-year history of the Hobart International that a player has won the singles title for a second time.

The two-and-a-half-hour match took over seven hours to complete due to persistent rain, but Mertens overcame three suspensions of play to go back-to-back in Hobart.

"It's amazing to defend a title and I'm really happy I did," Mertens said. "It's been a wonderful week."

It has been 15 years since a Hobart International singles final has gone to three sets.