Niculescu shocks Kvitova to end title drought
Monica Niculescu ended her two-year wait for a third WTA singles title by brushing aside top seed Petra Kvitova in the Luxembourg Open final.
Kvitova was a firm favourite to win her second title this month, but the two-time Wimbledon champion was very much second best as she went down 6-4 6-0 in just 68 minutes.
The unseeded Niculescu had not claimed a singles title since she was crowned Guangzhou Open champion in September 2014, but was not to be denied on Saturday.
Niculescu broke five times and failed to hold just the once, with a first-serve percentage of 86 under pressure giving the world number 11 limited opportunities.
Left-hander Kvitova was broken in the first game of the match and once again to trail 4-1, a deficit which she failed to claw back after hitting back to give herself every chance at 4-3.
Niculescu, ranked 51 in the world, pressed home her advantage in the second as an out-of-sorts Kvitova fell to pieces, coughing up far too many errors as she was soundly beaten.
Kvitova, who missed out on a place in the WTA Finals in Singapore, was put of her misery when she fired a forehand long as the Romanian claimed the title with her first match point.