Serena Williams Stopped by Victoria Azarenka in Indian Wells Finale
by Staff | March 20th, 2016, 4:59 pm

Serena Williams returned to the Indian Wells final for the first time since making up with the tournament after a 14-year absence, but the world No. 1 was stopped on Sunday by former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-4.
“I wanted to first address a personal thank you to Serena,” said Azarenka, who with the win returns to the Top 10, in her on-court speech. “I know how emotional it was for you to be back here and you truly inspired so many people out there to see the type of commitment you have to the game. It’s truly inspiring…If it wasn’t for you and how hard you work and seeing you play so well, I wouldn’t be as motivated to come back and work so hard. Thank you on behalf of the sport.”

Williams was one for nine on break point opportunities and committed 33 unforced errors. But from 1-5 down Williams looked like she might even the match, winning four straight games before Azarenka closed it out.

“It was really hard — the last moment I had here wasn’t the greatest, so thank you so much,” Williams said, trying to hold back tears. “Thank you so much for the cheers; I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I can’t even begin to tell you. I’m just so happy to be able to stand here again.”

It was only the fourth win in 21 career meetings for Azarenka against Williams. The Belarussian ended a five-match losing streak against the American defeating her for a fourth time in a final, most among any player.

The title also moves Azarenka back into the Top 10 for the first time in 18 months.

Both players next head to Miami where Williams will be looking for a ninth career singles title.

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4 Comments for Serena Williams Stopped by Victoria Azarenka in Indian Wells Finale

RZ Says:

Nice to see Vika win a big title again.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Love that picture! Great to see a potentially long term challenger to Serena back where she belongs.

jane Says:

congrats again to vika.
it is a cute photo.
and if you haven’t heard vika’s speech
it’s well worth a listen
very heartfelt

jalep Says:

Not that I’m willing to spend time on the subject because the Miami WTA draw is out and there are lots of great matches coming up that I don’t want to miss, but about Raymond Moore’s words, I stand with Serena on her statement:

“Well, if you read the transcript, you can only interpret it one way. I speak very good English. I’m sure he does too. You know, there’s only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not — we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.”
For more on what was said:

Please: Celebrate and appreciate women in sport. Don’t denigrate and cheapen our hard work or insult our intelligence by sexually objectifying us. The last thing the WTA needs is to step backwards into the 1950’s.

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