Venus Defeats Niculescu to Claim Luxembourg Open Title

Venus Williams was a  6-2, 6-3 winner over Monica Niculescu of Romania to win the 2012 Luxembourg Open title on Sunday
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Venus Williams was a  6-2, 6-3 winner over Monica Niculescu of Romania to win the 2012 Luxembourg Open title on Sunday. Unseeded at the event, Venus had to defeat ninth-seeded Mona Barthel in the second round and top-seeded Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals, both in straight sets, and faced a tough semifinals match against Andrea Petkovic, battling more than two-and-a-half hours before Venus finally pulled off the 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

"I had to work so hard to get to the final—the match against Andrea was so challenging, and the two matches before as well, and even my first round I had to stay really focused," Venus said. "Monica was in her second final here so she obviously feels really good on this court. You have to hit five, six, seven shots more than usual. It can be frustrating. She's tricky. You have to be ready."

The last WTA title earned by Venus came at Acapulco in February 2010, and after that win, she was ranked number two in the world, just a few matches away from becoming number one again. She missed most of the second half of 2010 with a knee injury, most of the first half of 2011 with hip and abdominal injuries and, most recently, a seven-month lay-off between September 2011 and March 2012 due to an autoimmune illness, Sjogren's Syndrome.