By Yegor Glebov
In the final singles match, Belarus’ top tennis players beat American Serena Williams — 7:6 (8:6), 2:6, 6:3, in two hours 28 minutes. The first set proved intense, lasting an hour. Losing the first game to Serena’s serve, Victoria then won the next three but could not break Serena’s spirit. The set went to a tie-break, with Victoria tying twice — 5:5 and 6:6. Finally, the 23 year old Minsker took the set 8:6.
Azarenko opened the second set by storm, breaking her rival’s serve and claiming two final points with delicate drop shots. Serena, 31, then bounced back to win two games and take the lead — 3:1. The experienced US athlete built on her dominant position, taking the second set — 6:2.
In the decisive set, Victoria Azarenko took three games in a row and Williams responded by winning her own serve, leaving the score at 1:3. Victoria claimed the next game and went on to bring the score to 6:3, winning the match.
Azarenko has lost to Serena Williams in 11 out of 12 matches to date.
On her way to the Doha final, Ms. Azarenko confidently defeated Switzerland’s Romina Oprandi (seeded 62nd) — 6:2, 6:3, as well as American Christina McHale (seeded 44th) — 6:0, 6:0. She also claimed victory over Italian Sara Errani (seeded 7th) 6:2, 6:2 and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska (seeded 4th) — 6:3, 6:3.
According to the Presidential Press Service, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, congratulated the Belarusian tennis player on her victory in Doha by phone.
Despite her victory, Victoria Azarenko has lost her place as WTA top seed to Serena Williams. The American athlete has returned to first place in the WTA ratings after a break of two years.