In a field packed with the top 8 WTA players, No. 2 Maria Sharapova shone through this week to capture the Stuttgart title by taking out No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 victory on Sunday. The win which is Sharapovaâ€™s 25th career tournament victory, breaks a 0-4 streak in finals against Azarenka.
Sharapova hit 31 winners past her opponent in her first tournament triumph for 2012.
En route to the title, Sharapova knocked out the last three most recent major title winners in Sam Stosur (2011 US Open), Kvitova (2011 Wimbledon) and Azarenka (2012 Australian Open).
“This was such a tough tournament with such difficult opponents, so I’m just happy to be the champion,â€ Sharapova said after the match. â€œI came to Europe this year a bit earlier than I usually do. I added this to my schedule and was going to use it as a warm-up tournament for the clay court season. But maybe I should start doing it every year since it’s obviously working for me.”
It was the Russianâ€™s sixth win over a World No. 1 player.
Azarenka who was treated for a wrist injury during the match made no excuses for her loss, “It’s obviously not how I wanted it to turn out in the final today, but I’m not going to sit here and look for excuses – that’s not my style. I lost today and that’s it, I’m moving on. The world doesn’t end. There’s going to be another big tournament in one week and I just have to look forward. There’s no looking back, even for a little bit. In the end, it was still a good week for me.
“And Maria served really well and her game was really on. All credit to her.”
Azarenka has a 29-2 record for 2012.