LIMOGES, France – No.1 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia needed just 56 minutes to overwhelm Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, 6-1, 6-3, and claim the Open BLS de Limoges title for the third time in the last four years.
World No.42 Alexandrova has quickly established herself as the preeminent force to be reckoned with at the WTA 125K Series event in Limoges, having also claimed the title in 2016 over Caroline Garcia and last year over Evgeniya Rodina. The Russian has yet to drop a set in her three appearances in the Limoges championship match.
Alexandrova fired seven aces and won 80 percent of points on her first service during the swift victory at the indoor event. The Russian dropped only one set all week en route to her successful title defense.
Bravo à Ekaterina Alexandrova qui remporte l’édition 2019 de l’Open BLS de #Limoges ! Félicitations également à la finaliste Aliaksandra Sasnovich pour son parcours 🎉 cc @OpenWTALimoges pic.twitter.com/C3f5PfGYVl— Ville de Limoges (@VilleLimoges87) December 22, 2019
The top seed got off to a flying start, breaking Sasnovich straight away for a 2-0 lead, then serving impeccably to hold at love in the subsequent game. Fiery forehands by the Russian led to a 5-0 lead, which included a run of 12 straight points.
Sasnovich fended off a set point to hold for 5-1 and avert the bagel, but Alexandrova maintained her momentum, blasting an overhead winner to seal another love hold and the one-set lead. The Russian won 90 percent of first-service points and never faced a break point in the first set.
Alexandrova continued to power towards victory in the second set, attaining the early break once again after a forehand dropped in for a winner to put her up 2-1. Sasnovich kept the second set more competitive, but the Belarusian was overpowered at 4-2 as blistering backhands by Alexandrova sealed another break and a chance to serve for the championship.
It was only at this juncture where Alexandrova faltered, dropping serve for the first time all day after a series of errors. However, the Russian held onto her composure, and promptly broke Sasnovich in the very next game to wrap up the win on her second championship point.
Alexandrova improves her head-to-head against Sasnovich to 2-0, having claimed their only prior meeting in the qualifying rounds of St. Petersburg two years ago.