Hello Lucie Safarova. What a crappy way to start 2015: Two crummy, three-set losses in Sydney and the Australian Open; yet what an amazing way to spend the last month:
- First Grand Slam doubles title at the Australian Open
- Quarterfinalist at Antwerp
- Quarterfinalist at Dubai
- Win your 6th career singles title in Doha
- Win your first career Premier level event
- Reach a career-high ranking of #11 in the world
Holy hell. Lucie Safarova is for real. Sure Victoria Azarenka was in agony after an intense battle with Venus Williams 24-hours prior, but Lucie has proven that she has what it takes to be a consistent top-10 SINGLES player. Czech “yes,” not “no” on my ticket for the Safarova bandwagon.
In Sydney, Lucie fell in the first round to Sam Stosur 6-7(3), 7-5, 3-6. She put a positive spin on it: Great effort…moving on. She was then derailed in the first round of the Australian Open by Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-2, 6-8. Ouch. Undeterred, she stayed alive in the doubles draw with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands and won her first career Grand Slam doubles title. Nice. Then in Antwerp and Dubai, she reached the Quarterfinals, maintaining her #15 ranking. In Doha…Shut the front door:
- Eliminated Sam Stosur in Round-1: 7-6(3), 6-4. Revenge.
- Took-out World #9 Ekaterina Makarova in Round-2: 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3
- Put-down an injured World #10 Andrea Petkovic in the Quaterfinals: 6-2, 6-1
- Powered past an exhausted World #14 Carla Suarez Navarro: 6-3, 6-2
- Closed the door on an over-extended Victoria Azarenka: 6-4, 6-3
Yes, the stars were aligned for Lucie, with other top-players facing more trying previous-round matches…but those first two grueling battles put her in that favorable position in Doha. She earned the title. That’s the lesson of tennis: Find a way to win today, because you never know how peaked and punished tomorrow’s opponent will be. Grind and ye shall receive. Glad to see the hard work paying off for the new World #11…and new #2 Czech player on tour.
In the 2015 Doubles Final…’Mericans Abigail Spears and Racquel Kops-Jones earned their 11th WTA Doubles Title together, taking down Doha favorite Sania Mirza and half of last year’s championship team Su-Wei Hsieh.
RESULTS. Qatar Total Open 2015. Day Six. Singles Final.
Lucie Safarova (CZE) d [WC] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 64 63
RESULTS. Qatar Total Open 2015. Day Six. Doubles Final.
 Racquel Kops-Jones (USA) and Abigail Spears (USA) d  Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) / Sania Mirza (IND) 64 64