Victoria Azarenko remains at top of world rankings
Chinese Li Na, 30, faced Ms. Azarenko in the finals of the Open Tennis Championship, hosted by Australia’s Rod Laver Arena. Despite the Belarusian being viewed as the favourite, having defeated Serena Williams, the match proved extremely dramatic
By Dmitry Baranovsky
Li Na initially took the initiative, winning the first set 6:4. The second set lasted nearly an hour and saw Azarenko reassert herself. In the third, a real fight ensued, with Li Na leading 3:1 early on. After having endured ankle problems in the second set, she took a misstep and fell badly, hitting her head on the court’s surface. However, after a short break, she returned, showing strength of nerve and character. Li Na played well but eventually conceded victory to Ms. Azarenko — 6:3.
Victoria’s delight was evident and she announced, “I’m happy, although the match was long and complicated. Li Na gave me a great game. I’m very pleased that, after all that happened to me in this tournament, I managed to play my best, concentrating on the tennis. I like to fight.”
Victoria is celebrating her 15th title and retains her number one seed ranking, as well as $2.5m in prize money. By winning in Australia, she has shown that she is a true leader in women’s tennis. Victoria is the eighth tennis player to defend her title at the Australian Open and has no plans to retire!