All photos by Ray Toh
Czech tennis player Lucie Safarova has earned her maiden Qatar Open title after unseating Victoria Azarenka during the finals last night, 6-4, 6-3.
This is Safarova’s sixth and largest WTA title, in which she will take home some $124,000. According to AP:
“The Czech snapped Azarenka’s 14-match winning streak in Doha and also foiled the Belarusian’s attempt to clinch a record third Qatar Open title.
‘It’s an amazing feeling. I’m really excited and I’ve been working towards this for a long time. I’m happy at the way season has progressed,’ said the new champion.”
With this win, Safarova will move up four places to 11th when the new WTA rankings are released tomorrow.
Azarenka, who won the Qatar championships in 2012 and 2013 but was forced to withdraw from last year’s event due to a foot injury, had a singles wildcard entry to compete, with a ranking of 41 – a ways behind her world No. 1 title in January 2012.
Speaking to media yesterday, she said she wasn’t going to let the loss get her down:
“There’s been a lot of progress this week, a lot of good things happened, a lot of great matches. I was looking as many matches in a row to try to get used to that. And I had a lot of great things actually this week that I can take and still keep working. I’m still really motivated.”
Meanwhile, several competition-goers spotted former UK football star David Beckham at the tennis tournament this week.
— Juliano Greca (@Juliano_Zidane) February 28, 2015
This is the athlete’s second public appearance in Qatar in recent months. In January, he presented the finals trophy to David Ferrer at the 2015 Qatar ExxonMobil Open. But this time, he appears to have attended simply as a spectator.
Did you attend the finals? Thoughts?