Victoria wins again

The best Belarusian tennis player is to set a record. Since the beginning of this season, the world number one has won every match and three tournaments in a row

By Dmitry Komarov

After the Australian Open in Sydney, she conquered Qatar and, took the competition title in Doha, defeating Australia’s Samantha Stosur (seeded fifth) during a 1 hour and 7 minute match: 6:1, 6:2. On the way to the finals (her fifth in a row), Viсtoria lost only a handful of games: one to Mona Barthel, four to Simona Halep and six to Agnieszka Radwanska.
Having won her 17th match in a row and her third title (unique since Jankovic’s autumn hat-trick in 2008), Azarenko has strengthened her ranking, so far surpassing Maria Sharapova by almost 1,600 points and Petra Kvitova by 2,000. Moreover, 22 year old Victoria boasts almost the same number of points over all as her three nearest rivals: Sharapova, Kvitova and Clijsters. The Belarusian now holds 11 singles titles and six doubles, having celebrated 17 victories across 17 tournaments: her best ever result.

“It’s a true pleasure to win this title,” she smiled after the tournament. “I’ve played in Doha several times but have never before reached the finals. However, it was my dream — as I love the local atmosphere. Now, I simply want to enjoy myself, not making far reaching forecasts.”

The Belarusian tennis player is next to play in Dubai and will then fly to the USA. The French Open in May is likely to be the most challenging for her in the Grand Slam series, although her current form may lead to an easier path than in previous years.

“Victoria Azarenko has become a very strong rival,” admitted Samantha Stosur after the Doha event. “She may not serve 50 ‘aces’ per match, yet makes her opponents struggle for every point.” Such consistency is certainly a recipe for victory on clay courts.

This season, Belarusian Olga Govortsova is also playing beautifully. She’s recently won the Dow Corning Tennis Classic tournament in Midland (USA); she later successfully played in Memphis (which is hosting a major tournament).

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