Truly promising start to the season
Victoria Azarenko wins international WTA Premier tennis tournament in Australian Brisbane
Victoria Azarenko wins international WTA Premier tennis tournament in Australian Brisbane.
Victoria began her new season with five wins in a row which enabled her to reach the finals where she confidently defeated fourth seed Angelique Kerber — 6:3, 6:1. Belarus’ top tennis player and the tenth best player in the world lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes. As a result, the Belarusian won the tournament for the first time in 2.5 years: the last win for the previous world champion was in Cincinnati, in August 2013: she then smashed her main rival — American Serena Williams in the final tie break.
The Brisbane International is a landmark for Victoria: playing at Queensland Tennis Centre in 2009, the 20-year-old Belarusian won her WTA first singles title: in the finals, she beat the French player Marion Bartoli. Two years ago, Azarenko was on course to win another competition in Brisbane but lost to Serena Williams in the finals.
On her road to victory, the Belarusian defeated Russia’s Yelena Vesnina and, in the second round, was set to play second seed Simona Halep, from Romania who unfortunately had to withdraw. In the third round, Victoria beat Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure and, in the quarter-finals was victorious over the Italian Roberta Vinci. In the semi-finals, Azarenko proved stronger than the American Samantha Crawford.
After her win, Victoria earned 479 rating points which enable her to rejoin the list of the world’s top twenty tennis players. At present, the leading tennis players in the world are preparing for the first Grand Slam event of the season: The Australian Open, scheduled for January 18th-31st, in Melbourne. Azarenko has already won it twice: in 2012 and 2013. Let’s hope she’ll succeed this year.
After her victory at the tournament in Australian Brisbane Victoria Azarenko rose from 22nd to 16th place in the WTA rankings. At present, Belarus’ best tennis player boasts 2,745 points.
By Igor Leshin