Victoria Azarenka blew three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova off the Rod Laver Arena 6-3 6-0 to win her maiden major, obtain the No.1 position in the WTA rankings, overtaking Caroline Wozniacki who’s reigned the spot pretty much for two years, and become the first Belarusian Grand Slam titlists and No.1 player in singles.
Playing her first Grand Slam final, the third-seeded Azarenka started nervously by dropping serve in the first game of the match and finding herself 0-2 0-30 down. But from then on, she started playing aggressively, moving Sharapova around and neutralizing her power. From 3-3 in the first set, the match belonged only to Azarenka.
If you look at the stats, Azarenka was drastically better than her fourth-seeded opponent in too many departments:
- Azarenka committed 12 unforced errors to Sharapova’s 30
- Azarenka won 53% on second serve, compared to Sharapova’s 18%
- Azarenka had 60% of receiving points won, while Sharapova won only 37%
- Azarenka converted 71% of break points, Sharapova only 25%
- Azarenka won 88% of net approaches, Sharapova more than twice less, 43%
Being the 2005 Australian Open junior champion and now winning the trophy as a pro, Azarenka has become the third woman in history to win the tournament both as a junior and as a senior.
Winning Sydney and the Australian Open this season, the 22-year-old has remained undefeated in 2012.
What do you think of Azarenka’s victory? Are you surprised by the score in the final?
About the ranking, are you glad to see a new face on the top? Note that Caroline Wozniacki will fall from No.1 to No.4! 😛 (photos: © Neal Trousdale)