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Sharapova or Azaranka, who is more likely to win Miami title?

The 2011 Sony Ericsson Open final will feature powerful, competitive and loud players – Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. The two are not underdogs, but it can't be said that they were favored to be the last women standing.

Both have already been at this stage of the Miami tournament, but only Azarenka managed to go a step further and win the title against Serena Williams in 2009. If Sharapova wins this time, it will be a huge thing, but not because it will be her first win in the final of Miami in three attempts, rather because the Premier-level title will be a great milestone in her post shoulder injury career.

If Azarenka’s record against Russian players is of any relevance, let's see the WTA Tour stats:

–    Azarenka has a 46.3% win percentage against Russians (25-29)
–    Azarenka is on a four match winning streak against Russians, the best of her career

As for Azarenka's record against Sharapova in particular, they are tied at 2-2, although it was Azarenka who won their last match, in Stanford final last year. Who will win the title is not easily predictable, but the final promises big fight and powerful game.

The interesting fact is that average rank of Sharapova's Miami opponents was 76, while Azarenka's was significantly higher, 24.

Seed No.16 Maria Sharapova’s road to the final:

R128: bye
R64: def. [WC] Petra Martic 6-3 6-2
R32: def. [WC] Sabine Lisicki 6-2 6-0
R16: def. No. 5 Samantha Stosur  6-4 6-1
QF: def. No. 28 Alexandra Dulgheru 3-6 7-6(6) 7-6(5
SF: def. No. 23 Andrea Petkovic 3-6 6-0 6-2
Total games: 106
Won/lost: 68-38
Sets won/lost: 10-2
Total time on court: 9h 04
Average time on court: 1h 49
Average rank of opponent: 76

Seed No.8 Victoria Azarenka’s road to the final:

R128: bye
R64: def. [Q] Lucie Hradecka 7-5 4-6 6-0
R32: def. No. 25 Dominika Cibulkova 3-6 6-3 6-4
R16: def. No. 21 Anastasia Palyuchenkova 3-6 6-1 6-4
QF: def. No. 2 Kim Clijsters 6-3 6-3
SF: def. No. 3 Vera Zvonareva 6-0 6-3
Total games: 115
Won/lost: 71-44
Sets won/lost: 10-3
Total time on court: 9h 29
Average time on court: 1h 54
Average rank of opponent: 24

Ranking projections say that Sharapova will climb to No.9, from her current No.13, while Azarenka is expected to rise from No.8 to No.6 if she wins (matching her career-high) and to No.7 if she loses the Sony Ericsson Open final. (stats via On the Baseline, photos: sr_cranks)

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7 thoughts on “Sharapova or Azaranka, who is more likely to win Miami title?

  1. Helen

    Gotta go with Vika in straights. She's playing with confidence and power right now, had little trouble dispatching the world's #2 and #3 (kim/Vera) plus she's the lone top seed left.

    We don't know which Sharapova is going to show up in the finals–The double-faulting error-prone Masha or the aggressive on-her-game Maria. How's Maria's energy after playing back-to-back 3 setters? Her ankle seemed okay last game but is it really healthy?

  2. Causar

    Unfortunately I have to go against you, Helen.
    However, I'd like to see Masha coming off this tournament as a winner

    I watched how she played against Andrea
    and it seems like the old Masha has come again

  3. Mirjana

    This is a though question, but I think it all depends on Maria, like Helen said. I'd really like Maria to win, she needs a big title to go back on the champions track. :D

  4. Causar

    Yes, you're right dafe
    Vika took the title with straight sets win over Maria
    But, Maria didn't played bad either

  5. Marija Post author

    Helen and Dafe, you were right, Azarenka was straightforward in two sets, and it was the error-prone Sharapova that stood out more than the dominant Sharapova. Causar, true, Maria didn't play bad either.

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