Seoul, South Korea, 23 September 2018 | AP

Ajla Tomljanovic has been denied her first career WTA title after losing 7-6(2) 4-6 6-2 to Kiki Bertens in the final of the Korea Open.

The second-seeded Bertens claimed the final six games of the match to secure her third WTA Tour singles title of the season.

“It was really tough, I knew I had to play well today. But against great players like that, you have to be on the whole time,” Tomljanovic said.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t enough today.”

Bertens was behind 2-0 in the second set before coming back to take a 4-3 lead with a break, but Tomljanovic broke in the 10th game when Bertens netted a forehand, giving the Australian the second set.

Tomljanovic again took a 2-0 lead in the final set, hitting a blistering forehand to the back of the court on break point that Bertens could only watch streak past her.

But the Dutch player again staged a comeback, not dropping another game.

The consolation prize for Tomljanovic, who ended Hsieh Su-Wei’s eight-match winning streak in the semifinals, will be a big jump in the rankings.

Tomljanovic, who has lost all three WTA finals she has contested, was ranked in the 900s nearly three years ago due to persistent shoulder problems.

But she has moved steadily up in the rankings and is projected to reach at least No.44 next week.

The No.12-ranked Bertens had dropped only one set going in to the final, while Tomljanovic needed three sets in each of her previous matches.