BEIJING, China – No. 1 Victoria Azarenka became the first player to win two WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments in a year when she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1 for the China Open crown. Azarenka won the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden back in March, which was her last tournament win before the China Open.
The Belarusian needed only 87 minutes to out-power the Russian in Bejing on Sunday.
“I was doing the right things, making sure I didn’t let Maria play the game she likes, always being in control and dominating,” said Azarenka. “Of course it wasn’t possible for me to do that every single point, but for the most part I was trying to keep up with her rhythm, and when I had the chance just try to step it up and be in control myself. I tried to take that opportunity and move forward.
“As for her mistakes, I’m not really looking for them, but I’m looking to provoke them, looking to make them happen. She’s not just going to stay there and miss – it’s something maybe I’ve done to make her miss those balls.
“To win the China Open is a dream for me, because I’ve never been able to do so well here – so to overcome that and win such a big title at the end of the year is just incredible. I’m really happy I came and I conquered here.”
Sharapova could only manage to hold her serve twice on Sunday. Sharapova hit a mere 18 winners to 39 unforced errors.
Azarenka has Linz and the WTA Championships left on her 2012 schedule.
“I have two more tournaments to play, about 10 more matches,” Azarenka said. (She has Linz and the WTA championships left.) “I’m looking forward to maximizing the potential in all of them. I’m really happy that in the end of the year I still have that determination I had in the beginning of the year, that desire to go out there and show my best tennis and win.”
“Victoria played a really good match – she just did many things much better than I did,” Sharapova said. “I felt like when I had the chance, in situations where I had opportunities to get back in the set or in the match, I was just making errors. They were little windows, but as small as they were, I just didn’t take them. Against somebody who is No.1 in the world, you can’t do that.
“But I came here not having played at a high level in Tokyo, and with every match I was playing better here - it’s unfortunate to lose in the final, but after the results I’ve had here in the past, this was definitely a step in the right direction.”