Saturday, January 26, 2013

2013 AUS OPEN: Azarenka Wins 2nd Major Over Li

Victoria Azarenka became the first player to defend an Australian Open women's singles title since Serena Williams did it in 2010 by coming back to beat Li Na 4-6 6-4 6-3 in 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was a very dramatic, emotional match with Li rolling her ankle and falling to the ground once in each of the last two sets, which perhaps not incidentally were the two sets that she lost. Li started the match by serving well and blasting more winners (and errors) than her opponent. The entire match was characterized by a huge number of breaks of serve, with Azarenka winning 9 of 12 breakpoints while Li only won 7 of 18. That was the key stat of the match which overturned my prediction of a victory by the Chinese player. The audience was strongly in favor of Li (probably by a 90% margin) but Azarenka was mentally tough enough to overcome that, as well as a 10-minute break down 1-2 (on serve) in the third set for fireworks celebrating Australia Day.

With her win, Azarenka retains the #1 ranking and has now reached the final of two consecutive majors, serving for the title both times. She lost to Serena in New York, but was able to close it out against Li in Melbourne.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin