By Mai Akkad
World number two Victoria Azarenka defended her Qatar Total Open title tonight by beating Serena Williams in a thrilling three-set match 7-6, 2-6, 6-3.
The top-seeded competitors played to a nearly-packed stadium full of energy.
Qatar’s first lady Sheikha Moza presented the trophies to the finalists during the award ceremony.
Williams, who made 48 unforced errors in the match tonight, expressed displeasure with her performance. Speaking to reporters, the 31-year-old American said:
“You know, I can’t play that quality game against a top player like Victoria. I have to be able to pick up my game, and I wasn’t able to do that today. I stayed at a 2 out of a 10, and I can’t play that low.”
But she added that regaining her number one ranking after beating 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals on Friday made tonight’s loss a bit easier.
“I can’t say that I’m depressed like I am whenever I lose. I’m definitely not happy, but I’m No. 1,” Williams said, smiling.
Meanwhile, Azarenka expressed joy at beating her toughest opponent after eight consecutive losing encounters. The Belarusian told reporters:
“It feels incredible. You know, this tournament is really great. I mentioned this so many times. It had such a strong field going into it, and I’m really glad that in the end of the week I’m the one who’s holding the trophy.”
Credit: Photo by DohaStadiumPlus