Venus Williams won her first WTA tournament in more than two years, beating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-2, 6-3 to take the Luxembourg Open title yesterday.
Slowed for two seasons by injuries and illness, Williams showed she still had the winning touch and played steady tennis, while Niculescu proved error-prone as she sought her first career title.
At 32, Williams won her 44th singles title in a career that includes seven Grand Slams. For Niculescu, ranked No. 70, it was the second loss in the Luxembourg Open final in a row.
Williams, now ranked No. 41, had not won a tournament since early 2010, when she took the titles in Dubai and Acapulco in short order.
Throughout the one hour, 22-minute match, Williams rarely looked in trouble, taking the early initiative and never letting go.
For a player who relies strongly on her serve, she was successful on only 63 per cent of her first serves and didn't manage a single ace on the indoor hard-courts at CK Sportcenter Kockelsheuer. She was much more solid in her backcourt game as Niculescu looked hesitant from the start and failed to get any momentum going.