Following an entertaining week of action on the WTA tour, the final of the Qatar Total Open 2015 is set, as Victoria Azarenka and Lucie Safarova cross paths for a seventh time on the professional tour. Azarenka leads the head to head series 6-0 and look to maintain that undefeated streak en route to her third title of the season.
Faced with an opponent whom she had never taken a set off in four previous encounters, Azarenka appeared determined to end that streak on Friday in Doha when she met Venus Williams. After dropping the opening set, Azarenka changed her approach and managed to force the match to a decider. From then on, momentum favoured the Belarusian and she won the match 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to reach her first final since last year’s Brisbane International.
“I had to change something after the first set. Otherwise, it was going very one-way street,” Azarenka said. “And Venus is the type of player that she’s not going to give anything. You got to fight hard and got to try to come up with the solutions.
“I haven’t seen her play like this for a while, especially in the first set. Although I believe that I wasn’t sharp enough; I wasn’t quick enough. But she was really dictating the pace and really going for her shots. I had to find the window and find that opportunity to kind of get back in the match.”
In her third final in Doha, Azarenka will come up against Lucie Safarova, who reached the final with a straightforward 6-3,6-2 against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
“The final is something that you never know what’s going to happen. There can be favorites and no favorites. Anything can happen. So for me what’s really important is that I finally reach my first final after such a long break and I’m excited about it. It’s the time of the week where you got to give it all and try your best.”
This marks the seventh time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Azarenka leading the series 6-0. Given her gutsy performances this week, and her incredible streak in 2015, it would be difficult not to envision the Belarusian lifting her third title in Doha on Saturday.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka in Three Sets