HEAD racquet rebel Victoria Azarenka wielded her YouTek Extreme Pro with precision to carve up Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-4 for a victory at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, second title of the season for the 21-year-old from Belarus. The hard-fought win in just less than two hours will propel Azarenka nicely into the WTA Championships in Doha where she will compete at the eight-woman season-ending championship. Azarenka stands 2-2 in 2010 finals, with a triumph in the summer on hard court at Stanford.
"It was a great week for me. Today we showed some excellent tennis and some great rallies, I hope the crowd enjoyed it," said the winner. "The crowd at Moscow was obviously for (Russian) Maria, but that just motivated me even more. I'm just happy to win another title. It brings extra confidence for Doha - I have a flight there already, so I'm excited to arrive on a high."
Azarenka will be playing in the prestige year-end event for her second year in a row in the Gulf. In Doha the doubles field, HEAD stablemate Yaroslava Shvedova will team with American Vania King as the Wimbledon and US Open champions this season take on the world.
In Luxembourg, Italian Roberta Vinci earned her third career trophy and first indoors as she defeated German's Julie Goerges 6-3, 6-4. Vinci also won 2007 Bogotá and 2009 Barcelona.
On ATP side, HEAD's Florian Mayer (YouTek Prestige Pro) reached the final against Roger Federer, with the Swiss taking a 6-4, 6-3 win at the IF Stockholm Open. Mayer, ranked 47th but on the rise, was facing the Swiss for the third time and playing the third ATP final of his career. The players both paid homage to each other after the contest.
"Roger really deserved to win. I hope he’ll get back to No. 1 as soon as possible," said Mayer. Federer had his own kind words: "It was a match played at very high level. Florian played well all week - he knocked out world No 5 fellow HEAD player and Swedish home hero Robin Soderling- but it was not quite his day. He still has a great future."
Meanwhile, Soderling made his spot at the 2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Soderling, who reached the semi-finals of the season finale in London last year, becomes the fifth singles player to qualify for this year’s event and the third HEAD racquet rebel beside Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.