World No.3 Vera Zvonareva won her first title in over a year (the period in which she lost five finals!), after defeating top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open. They both played great tennis, but it was Zvonareva who always had a slight edge, which was increasingly frustrating Wozniacki, a bit of a favorite who had lost just 9 games en route to the championship match.
Even though the match could have easily gone either way, the first big moment approaching victory to Zvonareva's side was when Wozniacki had three successive chances to break the Russian and even the score to 4-4. The Dane wasted them all and Zvonareva capitalized on her 5-3 lead to soon take the first set.
In the second set there was a crucial fifth game, on Wozniacki's serve, at 2-2. There were eight deuces and well over 10 minutes of play, and Zvonareva came out as the winner of that one. More tense games followed and until the end the winner was not apparent, but Zvonareva maintained her high level of tennis and kept her nerve – even when she had to let go of an apparent match point, because she didn't have a challenge to challenge a wrong call from a line judge.
Final score: 6-4 6-4. As for the money finalists took home: Zvonareva's share is $111,000, while Wozniacki's is almost twice less, $60,000.
Wozniacki will remain No.1, but this defeat will surely stay in her head. On the other hand, congrats to Zvonareva for wonderful performance and result in Doha. It was really nice to see her jumping, all smiles.
I have to use this opportunity of congratulating people to do a rather awkward thing – congratulate myself. Women's Tennis Blog was visited by 35,326 people yesterday!
And last but not least, I'd like to give a special thanks to Johan Rivera, a professional photographer based in Qatar, who was sending me loads of fresh and awesome pics from the tournament!