World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka on Sunday claimed her sixth title this season when she beat German Julia Goerges in straight sets at the Linz WTA tournament.
The Belarussian, in her ninth final appearance this year, overcame the fifth seed 6-3, 6-4 for a 14th career title.
In her first appearance at the tournament, the top seed had lost just 11 games in her first four matches and looked on course for another routine victory as she stormed into a 6-3, 5-0 lead against fifth-seeded Goerges.
“At 5-0, it felt like such a comfortable lead. I think I won seven games in a row at that point, but then Julia just went for her shots, and I kind of misjudged the situation,” Azarenka said. “I felt like the match was already in my hands, but Julia is such an unpredictable player, and the momentum can turn around really quickly with her, and it did. I wasn’t really expecting to have such a change.”
However, Azarenka soon wrapped up the title when, with Goerges serving at 4-5 and 30-all, she took the last two points.
“I’m glad I stayed in the moment,” Azarenka said. “I did the right things at that moment to finish the match and I’m very happy I managed to win.”
Azarenka’s trophy haul this year began with her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, with follow-up victories in Sydney, Doha and Indian Wells.
However, the 23-year-old then proceeded to lose her next three finals — including a defeat by Serena Williams at last month’s US Open — before her 6-3, 6-1 defeat of world No. 2 Maria Sharapova in Beijing.
Azarenka, whose win-loss record is now 13-0 since the US Open, and 26-0 in sets, will have a week off before the WTA Championships in Istanbul.
“I just want to rest a bit — it has been a long trip for me,” she said. “I’m happy I have this week to recover, regroup and refocus to go for that last push.”
Goerges was playing the fifth WTA final of her career and is now 2-3 in those.
The German took the court again later in the doubles final, where she partnered Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, but that did not go her way either, with Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke winning 6-3, 6-4.