Venus Williams, who has not played since being knocked out in the second round of the US Open, due to the effects of an ongoing auto immune disease and a bad back injury, took a familiar place on court in a tournament final on Sunday in Luxembourg. Up against the young up and coming Romanian Monica Niculescu, the American took the first set 6-2, but not as easily as the score suggests, as her serve is just not what it used to be. In her semi final against Andrea Petkovic, she served 15 double faults in a match which lasted almost two hours and forty minutes, while Niculescu’s semi was quick, just one hour and seven minutes. Williams tightened up her game – and especially her serve – for the final. The second set just as tightly fought, with Williams going 2-0 up before Niculescu broke and then held to level the score at 2-2. Now back on serve, Venus held for 3-2, broke for 4-2 and held for 5-2. Down 2-5, Niculescu served to stay in the match and held to trail 3-5, but Williams’ greater experience saw her take the set at 6-3 for game, set and championship in one hour and twenty three minutes on court. End result: 6-2 6-3.
Niculescu also made it to the finals of the doubles, alongside her countrywoman Irina-Camelia Begu, as the second seeds. They took on Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, the number one seeds. The Romanian player again missed out on the winner’s prize, as the Czech pair took the title with a 6-3 6-4 victory in an hour and ten minutes.