Sharapova defeats Azarenka in Porsche Finale

Monday, April 30, 2012

Maria Sharapova

Yesterday, in a re-match of the 2012 Australian Open championship final, Maria Sharapova knocked off top-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament in Stuttgart, Germany.

The first set lasted only 30 minutes, and Sharapova broke Azarenka's serve to go ahead 4-3 in the second set and closed it out with an ace.

For Sharapova, who improves to 22-4, it was her first Women's Tennis Association title of the year and 25th of her career. Azarenka had won the four previous matches against Sharapova. Sharapova said she mainly entered the tournament as a warm up for the French Open, which begins on May 27. Like the French Open, the Porsche Grand Prix tournament uses clay courts as well.

Azarenka falls to 29-2 on the year, and suffered a wrist injury at the start of the second set that limited her playing ability. She will, however, maintain her No. 1 world ranking.

"I am really pleased to win such a tough tournament, against such tough opponents," said Sharapova, before collecting the white sports car donated by the sponsor. "Victoria could not perform at her best because of her injury."

Azarenka and Sharapova posted straight-set victories in the semifinals on Saturday. Sharapova’s win came over reigning Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Azarenka's 2012 campaign started with 26 match victories before being defeated by Marion Bartoli last month at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida, U.S.

"Obviously I’m not happy I lost in the final, but congratulations to Maria, she did a really good job this week," Azarenka said. "It was still a good week for me. I was really happy to come to Stuttgart and I hope to do better next year."

This event marked Radwanska's fifth loss of the year, all of which have come while playing against Azarenka. Sharapova earned roughly 87,000 (US$115,000) and a brand new white Porsche 911 sports car for this victory.