Pauline Parmentier of France won her first career WTA Tour final Sunday, upsetting top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-5, 6-2 in the final of the Tashkent Open.
The 87th-ranked Parmentier was playing in only her third WTA event this season and had not made it past the second round before. She upset second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round, third-seeded Olga Govortsova of Belarus in the semifinals and did not drop a set throughout the tournament.
"I’m really happy," said Parmentier. "But I do not know how it happened."
The 18-year-old Azarenka, who reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open, opened strongly and was leading 4-1 in the first set. Serving at 5-3, Azarenka failed to convert two set points and lost the next four games and the set. She jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Parmentier won six consecutive games to clinch the title.
"I was nervous at the beginning but at 5-3 down in the first set I caught my rhythm and stayed concentrated for the rest of the match," Parmentier said.
It was also the first WTA final for the 38th-ranked Azarenka, who said she had been impressed with Parmentier throughout the week.
"Pauline played perfect tennis this week," Azarenka said. "I saw all her matches."