Rabat, Morocco, 6 May 2018 | AAP

Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic was beaten in the final of the Rabat Grand Prix in Morocco by top seed Elise Mertens.

The 22-year-old Mertens took control of the match from the start on Saturday as unseeded Tomljanovic struggled to keep up with the Belgian’s creative and powerful onslaught of shots and was brushed aside in the first set.

Mertens’s blazing form helped her to take a 5-3 lead in the second set before her 24-year-old opponent fought back to force a tie-break.

But Mertens maintained her composure to comfortably seal her third title of the year 6-2, 7-6(4) after one hour and 45 minutes.

Tomljanovic’s cause was undone as she racked up 46 unforced errors in an effort to find the lines against the in-form Mertens.

She had got through to the final after defeating seventh seed Serb Aleksandra Krunic 7-5 6-2 on Friday, and is set to rise from 96th to around 71st in the world rankings.

And the Croatian-born right-hander said after collecting her runner-up trophy: “I’m definitely not holding the trophy I wanted this week but there were a lot of little victories I’m very happy with.

“It was my first time in Rabat but I definitely hope it’s not the last.”

Mertens’s winning run has helped her rise to a career-high ranking of 16 ahead of her Madrid Open campaign, which kicks off on Sunday against compatriot Alison Van Uytvanck.

Her rise in the rankings could also boost her chances of being seeded at the French Open this month.