In the final match against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova (19th in the WTA ratings), the Belarusian won -- 6:3, 6:2. She played the beginning of the first set brilliantly, demonstrating 3:0, breaking her opponent’s serve twice. Afterwards, her rival pulled one point back, but Victoria confidently controlled the match and, as a result, ended with a 6:3 score. Interestingly, Kuznetsova won her points from the Belarusian’s serves while Azarenko broke five of her rival’s serves.
Victoria played the second set with dynamism, despite the 30-degree heat. The Belarusian moved quickly on court, pressing Kuznetsova to change angles (for which she was unprepared). As a result, the Belarusian won the second set, in one hour and 18 minutes.
This is the Belarusian’s third (in the season) and second (in a row) victorious tournament: in January, she won in Australian Brisbane and, a couple of weeks ago, defeated top seed American Serena Williams at Indian Wells.
“I’d like to devote this victory to my family and my parents, whom I seldom see. They’ve taught me so much that has been vital, giving me roots. I’ve always known where I’m from. My family has given me wings; I can fly now -- and I’m grateful for this,” Victoria said, after the match.
She praised her rival’s performance in the finals, saying, “I must congratulate Sveta on her play. I know she’s had many ups and downs in her career and I’m happy to see her on perfect form and playing good tennis.”
Victoria Azarenko demonstrates perfect play
Svetlana Kuznetsova also congratulated Victoria on this year’s successes, especially over the past month, with her ‘sunny double’, in Indian Wells and Miami.
In the past, only two tennis players have managed to win both Florida events in a single year: legendary German Steffi Graff (1994, 1996) and Belgium’s Kim Clijsters (2005).
The President of Belarus and the President of the National Olympic Committee, Alexander Lukashenko, has sent greetings to Victoria, on her winning of the Miami Open 2016 title, writing: ‘Your wonderful performances on the best tennis courts of the planet, and victories over the best tennis players in the world, bring much joy and happiness to all Belarusians, making us proud of our country and its great representatives’.
Mr. Lukashenko thanked Victoria for her perseverance and outstanding determination to win, which melted the steel nerves of rivals and destroyed their defence strategies. He also wished the sportswoman strong health and new victories.
By Kirill Karin