Lucie Safarova won the biggest title of her career on Saturday night
01 Mar 2015
Lucie Safarova won the biggest title of her career on Saturday night, beating Victoria Azarenka in straight sets for the Qatar Total Open title - her very first Premier-level title.

There were signs earlier in the week something big was happening. Unseeded, Safarova took out three seeds en route to the final, namely No.5 seed Ekaterina Makarova, No.6 seed Andrea Petkovic and No.9 seed Carla Suárez Navarro. And although she out-ranked Azarenka, that comparison was misleading - Azarenka is a former World No.1 and had won all six of their previous meetings.

A break for Safarova in the first game of the match set the tone, as she rode that break to a 3-1 lead, and after eventually taking the first set, 6-4, she built another 3-1 lead in the second set. From there there was no stopping the Czech, who served impeccably in the match - she hit seven aces in eight service games, including three in a row at one point - and she wrapped the victory up, 6-4, 6-3.

The Qatar Total Open is Safarova's sixth WTA title but by far the biggest of them all, being at the Premier level. Her first five WTA titles were all at the International level, namely Oeiras and Forest Hills in 2005, Gold Coast in 2006, Forest Hills again in 2008 and most recently Québec City in 2013.

There's more good news for Safarova - she will rise from No.15 to No.11 on the new WTA Rankings after this, a new career-high - coming into this week her career-high WTA Ranking was No.14.