Azarenka routs Sharapova to win at Indian Wells
18 Mar 2012:
© Reuters


Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates with her trophy
World number one Victoria Azarenka clinched her fourth title of the year with a 6-2 6-3 demolition of an error-prone Maria Sharapova in the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Sunday.

On a cold and blustery day, the Australian Open champion broke Sharapova's notoriously fragile serve twice in the opening set and four times in the second to triumph in one hour and 26 minutes on the showpiece stadium court.

Although Azarenka faced a little more resistance from Sharapova late in the second set, she held off the Russian's fightback and ended the match with a probing backhand which forced a desperate lob from her opponent that floated long.

The 22-year-old Belarusian dropped her racket in delight and set off on a running jig in the direction of the players' box after improving her record this year to 23-0, the best start to a WTA Tour season since 1997.

Swiss Martina Hingis recorded 37 consecutive victories to launch her 1997 campaign with Azarenka next best on 23 and American Serena Williams in third, with 21 in 2003.

"I was really actually nervous before the final," a beaming Azarenka told reporters after lifting the imposing crystal trophy. "I knew Maria had played some excellent tennis this week and she's always a very tough opponent to play.

"What was important for me was to try to put as much pressure on her, not to really let her into the match. It was a little bit difficult with the wind to control but I handled the situation really good.

"I never dreamed about that," Azarenka said of her perfect start to the season. "It's amazing. I just really focused on every match at a time. I'm not thinking too much ahead."

FIRST SLAM

Azaranka, who won her first grand slam title at the Australian Open in January with a straight sets win over Sharapova, broke the Russian in the first and seventh games of the match to lead 5-2.

The Belarusian then held to clinch the opening set in 40 minutes after a Sharapova forehand service return flew long.

Sharapova's serving woes continued in the second as she was again broken in the first and third games to trail 0-3.

Unexpectedly, Azarenka lost serve for the first time in the fourth after Sharapova clawed her way back from 40-15 down but the Russian once again failed to hold serve in the fifth when she blasted a forehand long to trail 1-4.

Azarenka was also broken in the sixth when Sharapova followed a forehand crosscourt winner with a crunching backhand winner down the line, pumping her left fist in celebration.

Though the Russian finally held for the first time in the set in the seventh, Azarenka won the next two games to improve her career record to 5-3 over Sharapova.

"She's extremely solid and she makes you work for every point," said former world number one Sharapova who was champion here in 2006. "Ultimately she forces you to want to do a little bit more than either you should or would want to.

"She's playing with a lot of confidence. I just made too many unforced errors at the wrong time."


All copyrights are to their respective owners.
No license is given to reproduce any material from this page without prior consent.
Related links:  WTA - Indian Wells - USA 2012 - Maria Sharapova - Victoria Azarenka
Related Pages:  ????? - ????? ??????? - ???????? ??????? ?????????
News on:  WTA - Indian Wells - USA 2012 - Maria Sharapova - Victoria Azarenka
 
Latest Tennis News
 24 Sep: Nishikori opens in Malaysia with win:  US Open finalist Kei Nishikori began his campaign at the Malaysian Open with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Rajeev Ram on Wednesday, with the top seed reaching the...
 22 Sep: Two Japanese exit as Nishikori prepares for Malaysian start:  Fifth seed Pablo Cuevas eased into the second round of the Malaysian Open on Monday's opening day as a pair of Japanese challengers went...
 22 Sep:  Gala Leon becomes Spain's first female Davis Cup captain :  The Spanish Tennis Federation have named former WTA player Gala Leon as the country's new Davis Cup captain following Carlos Moya's decision to step down...
 18 Sep: Chinese tennis star Li Na to retire, report says:  Chinese tennis star Li Na, 32, will announce her retirement on Friday, state broadcaster China Central Television said in a microblog post on Thursday....
 14 Sep:  No grand slam winners but France have impressive depth :  France have a real chance of beating Switzerland in the Davis Cup final, even if Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka will stand in their way....
 14 Sep:  Cilic leads Croatia to Davis Cup playoff victory :  Marin Cilic completed a dream week by steering Croatia into the Davis Cup World Group on Sunday, winning the crucial fifth rubber of their playoff to...
12 Sep: Murray enters Beijing event as points chase heats up
12 Sep: Gasquet guides France into 1-0 command over Czech Davis Cup holders
10 Sep: Nishikori to return to Kooyong for Australian Open final prep
10 Sep: Top seed Lisicki reaches quarters; Hantuchova makes sweaty HK start
9 Sep: Croatia celebrate Cilic US Open victory
9 Sep: Croatian Cilic overwhelms Nishikori to win US Open title
6 Sep:  Cilic upsets Federer in second U.S. Open shocker
6 Sep: Peng collapses with cramps to send Wozniacki into US Open final
6 Sep:  Bouchard, Peng defections hit new WTA Hong Kong event hard
6 Sep: Nishikori makes Asian tennis history history, places in Open final
2 Sep: Envious Williams truly wants to ębelieve in the sleeve
2 Sep: Tearful Peng beats Bencic for open semi-final place
Rafael Nadal - SpainNovak Djokovic - Serbia
18 Aug: Nadal withdraws from US Open with wrist injury
16 Aug: Nadal delays decision on US Open participation
26 Jun:  Canadians impress but remain divided on Wimbledon's grass
24 Jun:  Nadal determined to make his mark in Wimbledon first round
6 Sep: Nishikori makes Asian tennis history history, places in Open final
1 Sep: Djokovic downs Kohlschhreiber as New York momentum builds
28 Aug:  No sweat as Djokovic eases into third round
23 Aug:  Djokovic looks forward to life as a dad
Roger Federer - SwitzerlandAndy Murray - United Kingdom
14 Sep:  No grand slam winners but France have impressive depth
6 Sep:  Cilic upsets Federer in second U.S. Open shocker
27 Aug:  Federer has rich array of options for the future
21 Aug:  List of U.S. Open men's singles winners
12 Sep: Murray enters Beijing event as points chase heats up
31 Aug: Murray content to let Mauresmo coaching relationship mature
29 Aug: Murray team still puzzling over US Open cramping attack
25 Aug: Cramping Murray plays through pain for opening NY win
Serena Williams - United StatesMaria Sharapova - Russia
1 Sep: Defender Serena Williams reaches quarter-finals
28 Aug: Serena slams King to power into Open third round
25 Aug: Holder Williams leads WTA rankings into US Open
21 Aug:  Williams looking to wave American flag again
31 Aug:  Wozniacki upsets Sharapova, and Ferrer falls at U.S. Open
28 Aug: Sharapova sweet on her post-tennis business career
7 Jun:  Queen of endurance Sharapova wins in it three ... hours
7 Jun:  Sharapova floors Halep to win second French Open title
David Ferrer - SpainVictoria Azarenka - Belarus
31 Aug: Simons slams Ferrer as Spaniard runs out of puff in New York
16 Aug: Ferrer breezes into Cincinnati final
4 Jun:  Nadal devours Ferrer after shaky start to reach last four
29 May:  Stephens lifts U.S. spirits at French Open, Ferrer powers on
12 Aug: Azarenka pulls from Cincinnati with knee injury
19 May:  Azarenka out of French Open due to foot injury
22 Jan: Radwanska ends Azarenka reign at Melbourne Park
22 Jan: Azarenka follows Djokovic out the door in Melbourne
Juan Martin Del Potro - ArgentinaCarolina Wozniacki - Denmark
15 Aug: Del Potro out of US Open as wrist recovery continues
22 Mar:  Del Potro to have wrist surgery, miss season
16 Jan: Del Potro crashes out in second round
8 Jan: Del Potro stands firm as seeds tumble in Sydney
6 Sep: Peng collapses with cramps to send Wozniacki into US Open final
31 Aug:  Wozniacki upsets Sharapova, and Ferrer falls at U.S. Open
16 Aug: Williams rallies into second straight Cincinnati final
27 May:  Wozniacki loses on return after engagement heartache
Tomas Berdych - Czech RepublicAgnieszka Radwanska - Poland
12 Sep: Gasquet guides France into 1-0 command over Czech Davis Cup holders
9 May:  Nadal coasts past Berdych into Madrid semis
4 May:  Qualifier Klizan and Berlocq grab unexpected titles
29 Mar:  Berdych follows Nishikori and withdraws from Miami
27 Aug: China's Peng knocks out fourth seed Radwanska
10 Aug:  Radwanska eases past Venus Williams to win Rogers Cup
10 May:  Sharapova ousts Radwanska to claim Madrid final berth
26 Mar:  Cibulkova upsets Radwanska to reach Miami semis
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - FrancePetra Kvitova - Czech Republic
12 Aug: Tsonga running on empty in opening Cincinnati loss
11 Aug: Tsonga aims to ride his winning hardcourt wave in Cincinnati
10 Aug:  Tsonga caps week of upsets with win over Federer and title
9 Aug: Tsonga takes aim at more Masters success with win into Toronto final
30 Aug:  Kvitova joins upset list in loss to Krunic
26 Aug:  Kvitova, Bouchard steamroll into second round at U.S. Open
13 Aug:  Williams battles on in Cincinnati, Kvitova falls
25 Mar:  Sharapova closes in on return trip to Miami final
Na Li - ChinaStanislas Wawrinka - Switzerland
27 Jun:  Li toppled and Djokovic tumbles on Wimbledon's grass
27 May:  Australian Open champion Li beaten at French Open
9 May:  Sharapova through in Madrid, injured Serena out
29 Mar:  Williams beats Li to claim seventh Miami title
7 Aug:  Top seeds Djokovic, Wawrinka fall in Toronto
29 May:  Wawrinka given wildcard into Queen's Club tournament
26 May:  Australian Open champion Wawrinka knocked out in Paris
23 May:  Wawrinka is now part of 'Big Five', says Djokovic
Samantha Stosur - AustraliaAna Ivanovic - Serbia
26 Aug:  Kvitova, Bouchard steamroll into second round at U.S. Open
1 Jun:  Sharapova grinds down Stosur to reach French Open last eight
26 May:  Stosur stitched up after gym work goes wrong
3 Nov 2013: Romanian Halep fights back to see off Stosur
17 Aug: Williams claims 62nd career title with Cincinnati breakthrough win
14 Jun:  Slow-burning Ivanovic reaches Birmingham final
12 Jun:  Top seed Ivanovic through in Birmingham but Stosur ousted
27 Apr:  Sharapova fights back to win Stuttgart title
Venus Williams - United StatesJohn Isner - United States
29 Aug:  Errani triumphs over Venus after unforgettable moment
10 Aug:  Radwanska eases past Venus Williams to win Rogers Cup
9 Aug:  Venus upsets Serena to reach Rogers Cup final
28 May:  Schmiedlova beats Venus to spoil Williams family party
16 Mar:  Federer and Djokovic to meet in Indian Wells final
3 Mar:  Agassi would like to solve Isner riddle, but in no rush to become a coach
31 Jan:  Young replaces Isner for Davis Cup tie in San Diego
31 Oct 2013: Djokovic wins in a fightback to reach Paris quarter-finals