Azarenko ends her run

The world’s top tennis player, Victoria Azarenko of Belarus, has suffered her first defeat of the season, being knocked out of the tournament in American Miami

By Dmitry Baranovsky

After victories at several large tournaments, Azarenko’s winning series totalled 26 matches, allowing her to approach Steffi Graf’s record. However, French Marion Bartoli (seeded seventh worldwide) has ended her stellar run.

In the ? finals in Miami (won twice previously by Azarenko — in 2009 and 2011) the first two sets were won 3:6, 3:6 by Bartoli. Vika also boasts 12 victorious WTA tournaments, including four this season: in Sydney, Melbourne (Australian Open), Doha and Indian Wells.

Meanwhile, Max Mirny is on good form. He is to play another Davis Cup with the Belarusian national team, on April 6th. At the same tournament in Miami, he reached the final, partnering Daniel Nestor of Canada, where they presented a serious threat to Leander Paes (India) and Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic). Unfortunately, after winning the first set the Belarusian and Canadian have failed to preserve their advantage and lost.

In previous years, Mirny, who lives in the USA, has won the Miami tournament four times: pairing Swiss Roger Federer (2003), Swedish Jonas Bjorkman (2005 and 2006) and Israeli Andy Ram (2009). Twice, he has reached the semi-finals — partnering Indian Mahesh Bhupathi (2010) and Canadian Daniel Nestor (2011).

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