Azarenka’s rises to No.1
Victoria Azarenka outclassed Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final to win her maiden Grand Slam title and become the new world number one.
The 22-year-old Belarusian marked her first major final with a nerveless display, coming through 6-3 6-0 in an hour and 22 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
Three-time major champion Sharapova could not live with her opponent’s pace, variety or unrelenting intensity.
The win sees Azarenka replace Caroline Wozniacki at the top of the rankings.
It was the first time since the 2009 Australian Open that the number one spot has been decided by the outcome of a Grand Slam final.
And Azarenka was a worthy winner following a brilliant performance in which she made only 12 unforced errors to Sharapova’s 30.
“I would like to thank my team,” said the right-hander from Minsk, who dropped only one set all tournament.
“You guys have supported me for so long. You believed in me, made me realise I can believe in myself and that I can finally raise this trophy.
“I have loved coming back every year since I was a junior. I cannot wait to be back next year. I have had an amazing month in Australia and it is a dream come true.” (BBC)