Niculescu stuns Kvitova in Luxembourg final

The Outsiders – Women – Roland Garros 2019

Monica Niculescu pulled off a shock upset in the final of the Luxembourg Open on Saturday, defeating top seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in straight sets to claim the title.

The Romanian hadn’t won on the WTA Tour in over two years, and few expected her to come out on top against Kvitova, who had beaten the likes of World No 1 Angelique Kerber on the way to the Wuhan title only three weeks ago.

The manner of the win was even more surprising, with Niculescu wrapping up a 6-4, 6-0 victory in just 68 minutes.

Niculescu began her charge early, breaking in the very first game of the match, and then again a few games later to race to a 4-1 lead.

Kvitova was able to regain one of those lost breaks, but she could do nothing to prevent her opponent – whose first serve was dialled in at 86% – from converting her first set point at 5-4.

Having fallen a set behind, Kvitova’s challenge wilted completely in the second. Niculescu earned eight break points and converted three of them to surge into a 5-0 lead, clinching match point shortly after when Kvitova fired a forehand long.