For the first time in five WTA finals against Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova managed to come out victorious and she's done it in style, with a confident 6-1 6-4 win at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Making her debut at the tournament, Sharapova, perfect on her serve, claimed her first title in 2012, 25th in career and fourth on clay.
Unlike Azarenka, who only in the fourth game didn't miss her first serve and actually scored a point on it, Sharapova had a 90% winning percentage on first serve after eight games of the match, while in the end that percentage was 84. Azarenka's winning on first serve was not bad eventually, 76%, but on the second serve it was only 22%.
Sharapova opened the match with a 3-0 lead, and the second break for 5-1 quickly determined Azarenka's faith. The second set was more close, but Sharapova's break in the seventh game provided her with the advantage which Azarenka was unable to overcome and Sharapova finished the match serving to love.
After a first round bye, the second-seeded Sharapova beat Alize Cornet, fifth seed Samantha Stosur, third seed Petra Kvitova, and finally the tournament's top seed, who claimed to be satisfied with her performance at the tournament despite the loss in the final. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)