HEAD racquet rebel Victoria Azarenka won her third title of the WTA season with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Romanian Monica Niculescu, claiming the trophy at the Luxembourg Open. The Belarus champion added the indoor honours to her 2011 trophies at Miami on hard-court and a week later on the clay of Marbella, Spain. Wimbledon semi-finalist Azarenka will now move on to the WTA Championships in Istanbul with supreme confidence after winning her eighth career title.
Azarenka, who did not lose a set all week, heads straight to Turkey for her third year-end event. "I won't be the favourite, but I'm starting confident and fit - who knows?" Azarenka took the Luxembourg title as she broke the 34th-ranked Romanian six times in their 74-minute final. The win with her YouTek IG Extreme Pro lifts Azarenka to 52-15 for the season. "Right now, I'm playing the best tennis of my career," said the 22-year-old.
In Moscow at the Kremlin Cup, Jeremy Chardy reached his fifth career semi-final, the first for the Frenchman ranked 133rd since Stuttgart in 2009. Among others, Chardy defeated No. 3 seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov on his way to the semis.