DOHA: Czech player Lucie Safarova claimed the biggest title of her career when she beat former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-3 at the Qatar Open on Saturday.
The world number 15 reached the final with a string of impressive wins and continued her form against Azarenka, who made little impression in the one hour 27 minute contest.
Azarenka, slowly working her way back up the rankings after injury problems, had won her previous six matches against Safarova but when she dropped her opening service game it was clear that spotless record was in jeopardy.
After taking the first set, Safarova built a 3-1 lead in the second and never wavered as she closed in on the title.
Azarenka’s defeat was her first in 15 matches at the tournament after the Belarussian won the tournament in 2012 and 2013 before her foot injury prevented her going for the hat-trick last year. (Reuters)