It was a rematch of this year’s Australian Open final with the same result. Victoria Azarenka crushed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-3 to win her fourth title of the season and maintain an unblemished 23-0 record.
With the world’s top two players vying for the title, the crowd expected a fierce contest. However, from the opening game, Azarenka demonstrated that she was going to take control and not relent.
Subsequent to breaking Sharapova, Azarenka dismissed a break point and went on to consolidate for a 2-0 lead. For the remainder of the set, Sharapova felt under the gun on her serve.
With Sharapova netting a forehand up the line, Azarenka arrived at double break point in the seventh game. By striking a forehand winner, the world number one captured an insurance break and later quickly sealed the first set.
Just as in the initial set, Azarenka began by breaking Sharapova. Following a prompt hold, Azarenka secured a second break for a 3-0 advantage.
Sharapova fought on though and was able to break Azarenka for 1-3. But each time Sharapova tried to get up, Azarenka put her down. Azarenka capitalized on a break point opportunity to get to 4-1.
Finally after breaking Azarenka, Sharapova guarded serve to narrow the deficit to one break. However, Azarenka unfazed comfortably held for 5-3 to keep her opponent at bay.
With Sharapova serving to extend the match, Azarenka obtained double break point. As Sharapova committed another of the multiple of forehand miscues, Azarenka secured her maiden BNP Paribas Open title.
In her first match at Indian Wells which was in the second round, Azarenka overcame match point from Mona Barthel after being in command for two sets (leading 6-4,5-1) and being forced to a third set tiebreaker.
Sharapova, the 2006 Indian Wells winner, congratulated her rival on her “wonderful start to the year and phenomenal tennis”. Sharapova acknowledged that it was an achievement to reach the final despite the result. Consequently, Sharapova stated she looked forward to coming back and competing for another trophy in the future.
With the most impressive start to a season since Serena Williams in 2003, Azarenka expressed that this victory is “so special. . . I can’t believe this is happening”. Azarenka had no expectation that this season would be off to such an amazing streak. Azarenka maintains that her goal is to continue to work hard and do her best.