Radio Sandwell Sport

Victoria Azarenka wins the Australian Open 2013

2013-01-26 12:48:55

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka blocked out an unfriendly crowd, her opponent's injuries and her own slow start to beat Li Na and win a second consecutive Australian Open crown.

Azarenka's 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory ensures she will hold on to the No. 1 ranking she captured a year ago when she won her maiden Grand Slam crown in Melbourne.

Cast as the villain after her use of the medical timeout rule against American Sloane Stephens, the 23-year-old from Belarus was steadier down the stretch.

No. 6 seed Li, the first player from China to win a Grand Slam at the 2011 French Open, twisted her left ankle in the fifth game of the second set and then tumbled to the court and hit the back of her head on the first point following a 9-minute interruption for fireworks celebrating Australia Day. She needed medical timeouts for both.

Both players showed nerves early and through much of the first set.

Li Na opened the match with a double fault, and Azarenka double faulted on set point in the first set.

There were seven breaks of serve total in the first set.

The Rod Laver Arena crowd was clearly on the side of Li early, cheering wildly for her points, tepidly for Azarenka.


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