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Victoria Azarenka Defeats Li Na, Wins Australian Open

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning her women’s final match against Na Li of China during day thirteen of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Victoria Azarenka won the 2013 women’s Australian Open title on Saturday, defeating beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final round.

For the 23-year old Azarenka, it’s her second-consecutive Australian Open title, and secures her spot as the #1-ranked player in the world.

This was the third time that Azarenka and Li had squared-off in a Grand Slam Tournaments, after Li won both of the previous meetings, defeating Azarenka in the fourth round of the 2011 Australian Open, as well as in the quarterfinals at the 2011 French Open.

The 2-hour, 40-minute match featured 16 service breaks, with Azarenka breaking a total of nine times.

Azarenka broke Li on the very first game of the match, but Li settled in, and won the first set, 6-4.

Azarenka was up, 3-1, in the second set, when Li suffered a left ankle injury, which forced her to have the ankle taped.

Li showed no immediate ill effects, coming back to tie the set at 4-4, before Azarenka came roaring back, winning the final two games, and winning the set, 6-4.

In the third and final set, it was Li who up 2-1 when play was suspended for 10 minutes for a planned fireworks display in honor of Australia Day.

On the first point of play after the match resumed, Li suffered another setback, falling and slamming the back of her head on the court.

Azarenka then dominated the rest of the match, winning five of the next six games, to win  her second straight title.

For Li, who won the 2011 French Open, it was her second loss in the Australian Open finals in the last three years.

 

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