Form won out over history at the Agel Open as Ekaterina Alexandrova defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Fresh off her third career title in Seoul, Alexandrova overcame a 0-3 head-to-head record against the 2020 finalist to extend her winning streak to six matches. Here are the most significant takeaways from the 2-hour, 18-minute clash in Ostrava.

Alexandrova underlined her form of the past six months

Through March, Alexandrova's season was somewhat underwhelming. A second-round loss in Miami to Azarenka dropped her 2022 record to 4-6, and she found herself ranked outside the Top 50 for the first time since 2019.

But a semifinal run in Charleston sparked Alexandrova's resurgence. Another followed in Madrid, and the past four months have seen her collect two Hologic WTA Tour titles in 's-Hertogenbosch and Seoul. Since April, her record is 29-10.

The most striking aspect of Alexandrova's form has been her improvement across surfaces. A return to indoor hard courts this week is a return to her home turf -- the surface she most excelled on when breaking through to the main tour. Between Oct. 2018 and Feb. 2020, Alexandrova won 31 of her 36 matches indoors, a run that included two WTA 125 titles and her first tour-level final.

If 2022 has seen Alexandrova level up to this degree on clay and grass, she should be formidable on a surface where she has always thrived. Next up will be either No.5 seed Daria Kasatkina or former US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

Alexandrova handled scoreboard adversity superbly

Each set arguably contained one particularly significant passage of play -- and Alexandrova did not come out of all of them on top. Having broken Azarenka back after a slow start, Alexandrova lost a four-deuce tussle to trail 4-2, sending a backhand wide on the seventh break point of the game. But she tightened her game up further in response to reel off four straight games and take the set.

At 3-3 in the second set, Alexandrova was millimetres from bringing up a break point -- only for a Hawkeye overrule to go against her. Instead, Azarenka escaped with the hold and surged through three games in a row to level up.

Alexandrova had lost momentum from a winning position, but quickly regained it with a positive start to the decider. She came through a six-deuce tussle to break Azarenka in the third game, catching the edge of the line with a stellar pass on her third break point. This time, the tightest game of the set did set the tone. Alexandrova did not relinquish control, firing seven of her 12 aces in the third set and sealing her second match point with a service winner.

Azarenka's flashes of brilliance could not outweigh her inconsistency

Former World No.1 Azarenka was responsible for the best shots of the match: a forehand at full stretch off an Alexandrova dropshot in the second set, and a terrific lob as she battled to cling on in the third set.

But she also committed 27 unforced errors across the match, frequently at moments that punctured her momentum. This tally was four fewer than Alexandrova's, but Azarenka also lagged further behind in the winner count, 24 to her opponent's 38.

Azarenka enters the home stretch of 2022 searching for a big result. Her season has not been poor, as such -- this was only her second opening-round loss of the year -- but neither have there been highlights of the sort a two-time major champion is accustomed to. Azarenka's 20-12 record includes two fourth-round runs at Grand Slams, but no quarterfinals; and two quarterfinals in tour events, but no semifinals.

At 33 years old and ranked No.24, Azarenka will be aiming to find her best tennis more reliably in order to break out of this holding pattern.