LINZ, Austria - The World No.1 kept on tearing through the post-US Open season this week, as Victoria Azarenka won her second WTA title in as many weeks at the Generali Ladies Linz, not dropping a set the entire way.
In her first appearance at the tournament the No.1-seeded Azarenka ripped through the field, barely losing any games - she lost 11 games in her first four matches - and then looked headed for another routine victory as she burst out to a 63 50 lead against No.5 seed Julia Goerges in Sunday afternoon's final.
But things got a little more complicated down the home stretch.
"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."
Azarenka threw her own momentum shift in just in the nick of time, though - with Goerges serving at 4-5, 30-all, Azarenka squeaked out 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 today.
"I was coming to Linz for the first time and everywhere you go you try to win, and I'm really happy I could go all the way through this tournament. I'm happy to end the week with such a beautiful trophy and a smile on my face."
Azarenka, who is now 13-0 since the US Open and 26-0 in sets, collected her sixth WTA trophy of the year in Linz, tying her for most on the year with Serena Williams; she has 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.
"Well, it was a tough day, but I saw I had the chance to stay with the No.1 player in the world, and even change the match from 5-0 down," the German commented. "But I got to two finals here, which I've never achieved in one week before, and even though I didn't win, I'm happy with my tournament."
Goerges took the court again shortly afterwards for the doubles final as one half of the No.2-seeded pair with Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, but that didn't go her way either as they fell to No.1 seeds and fellow German-Czech duo Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke by the same scoreline, 63 64 - in fact it was a very similar match as well, with Goerges and Zahlavova Strycova catching up from 63 52 to 63 54 before finally bowing out in a close final game.
"I always love playing here - last year I played with Julia actually, and we got to the finals, and a few years back I won the title," Groenefeld said. "So I always play well here and Kveta and I had a great week this week, too. We just started in Tokyo this year and so far it's been really great. We're going to play next year and for sure we'll try to play the WTA Championships at the end of the year."
"This year has been very difficult for me, splitting with Katarina and not having the titles I was used to having from last year," Peschke said. "But this is definitely positive and I feel like I'm on the way up again. Anna-Lena and I understand each other very well on and off court, so I'm looking forward to getting another nice experience and really trying to follow it for the next year."
Groenefeld and Peschke won their first WTA doubles title as a team; Groenefeld now has 12 WTA doubles titles to her name while Peschke has 24.