Azarenka Defeats Niculescu In Luxembourg Final
World number four Victoria Azarenka hindered Monica Niculescu of claiming her first ever WTA title to clinch her eighth one instead, beating the Romanian 6-2, 6-2 in the Luxembourg last term.
It took the Belarusian one hour and 25 minutes to win the title, dominating the game at all facets. The first set saw the top seed break the week revelation twice without conceding any of her services. Concerning the second term, it was controlled by the same Azarenka who exchanged six breaks with the world number 29 and managed to take four of them, powering through to her third success of the year after the Miami and Marbella impressive showings.
Also, the 22 year old Belarusian has improved her record against the Romanian to 4-0 whom she had previously defeated at the 2010 US Open Grand Slam. Victoria finished the game with an impressive 80 first sedrve percentage, four double faults and a 62 return percentage, winning at the same time 63 percent of service points and 60 points out of 96 played.
She also converted six out of ten break points, compared to her opponent’s showing which featured a 71 first serve percentage, a 37 return one and two breaks. Niculescu won just 38 percent of service points, something which both dragged her down and stopped her from providing yet another great showing.
Stated Azarenka after the win: “Monica has a unique game, a really different style. You really have to dig deep and be patient against her, but you also have to be aggressive. If you stand there and just dig the balls back, she can beat you. So I just tried to stay aggressive and fight for every point and I’m happy how it turned out.”
En route to the last term, Victoria had ousted Julia Gorges in two sets, 6-3, 6-3 in the semi finals, Iveta Benesova 6-3, 6-2 in the quarters and Alberta Brianti 6-0, 6-1 in the second term. She also made a remarkable debut, beating Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4. Azarenka thus finished the Luxembourg event without dropping any set.
On the other side, Niculescu had previously upset Briton Anne Keothavong 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the best four round. The Romanian eased past Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter final and edged Anabel Medina 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 in the second round and had a hard life against Karin Knapp whom she overcame 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in the first day.
Azarenka will pocket $37,000 and receive 280 WTA points respectively, while Niculescu is to bank $19,000 and 200 points.
Luxembourg Prize Money and points:
Winner – $37,000 and 280 points WTA
Runner up – $19,000 and 200 points WTA
Semi finalist – $10,200 and 130 points WTA
Quarter finalist – $5,340 and 70 points WTA
Second round – $2,950 and 30 points WTA
First round – $1,725 and one point WTA11