Azarenka Seeks First Slam Title Against Sharapova Tonight In Scream Queen Battle At Australian Open
by Staff | January 28th, 2012, 2:49 am

Making her Grand Slam final debut, Victoria Azarenka will appear in the biggest match of her career tonight in the Australian Open title bout where she’ll meet former champion Maria Sharapova.

The match not only determines our first Slam titlist of the season but also the new No. 1 ranking player, with the champion replacing Caroline Wozniacki on Monday in next WTA rankings.

Azarenka and Sharapova has split thier previous six meetings, but in finals Azarenka leads 2-0 and in every match the Belarussian has won at lest one set.

“I think she’s a very tough opponent,” Azarenka said. “She’s been in the finals here, she won here, so definitely she has a lot of experience. We always had difficult matches, so really looking forward to that battle. It’s not going to be easy.”

Said Sharapova, “She’s a really, really good player, and like you said, I haven’t had great success against her in the last couple of events that we’ve played against each other. I’d really like to change that. Yeah, it will be important to tactically play right. You know, she makes you hit a lot of balls and she’s aggressive, as well.”

Azarenka is also looking to continue a string of new Grand Slam champions on the WTA, following in the footsteps of Li Na at the French Open, Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon and Sam Stosur in New York.

The 24-year-old Sharapova who was in dire straits after undergoing right shoulder surgery in 2009 is back to form reaching two of the last Major finals. And the Russian former No. 1 has fond memories of Australia capturing her last Slam title four years ago in Melbourne.

“It means so much to be back in a Grand Slam final, a stage I have been to before few years ago here,” Sharapova said Thursday. “It’s nice to get that far again after losing quite early in the last couple of years.

“Obviously it would have been nice not to have a serious injury at 21 years old, but sometimes it’s just the way things go. Good thing is that I found a way to come back.”

Sharapova has 24 career WTA titles including three at the Grand Slam level. Azarenka, a former Australian junior champion in 2005, has nine WTA titles and is appearing in her first Slam final.

The winner will also receive a record prize money purse of 2.3 million Australian dollars.

You Might Like:
Nadal Seeks 7th Barcelona Crown Sunday Against Ferrer; Azarenka v Sharapova In Scream-y Stuttgart Final
Poll: What Was The Bigger Wimbledon Upset: Nadal, Federer Or Serena?
Azarenka Crushes Sharapova In Australian Open Final; Wins First Slam, Ascends To No. 1
Serena v Screamer in French Final; Men’s Semis Friday
Watch And Listen To Novak Djokovic Scream Going Down This Water Slide In Dubai [Video]

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

18 Comments for Azarenka Seeks First Slam Title Against Sharapova Tonight In Scream Queen Battle At Australian Open

Kimmi Says:

OK i have to go for the newbie.

Kimmi Says:

wow! azarenka very solid. Both sides. double break now.

Kimmi Says:

2 more break points..vika could bake on her was to the title

Kimmi Says:

“on her way”

Kimmi Says:

what a performance after she lost the first two games..maria won only ONE game after. deserving so!

Another new GS winner in WTA.

Congratulations to azarenka.

Wog boy Says:

Is there better way to become #1 then winning GS.
i posted after Brisbane that her maiden GS I overdue.
Bravo Azarenka .

Wog boy Says:

^ is overdue ^

Kimmi Says:

i guess i have to warm up to her now. she seem to be so sweet and nice person too.

She has improved so much and the consistency is what is killing those big hitters with so many errors.

From now on if you want to beat vika, you need to bring it..I think she will win more.

what a start to the year. win in Sydney and now AO. 12-0 winning streak. she could do a djokovic maybe..

Wog boy Says:

After Sydney and not Brisbane, mistake.

jane Says:

Congrats to Vika! Her first slam and number 1!

Also, good results for Sharapova to make two slam finals. I guess the final would’ve been more competitive had Petra made it. Turns out the semis were much more exciting.

tennisfan Says:

Vika played brilliantly today and fully deserved to win her First GS and World no. 1 ranking. Many congratulations to this young rising star.

Sharapova didn’t play the level of tennis that was required at this stage but then everyone has their ups and downs in life. It would be wrong to assume that she will never win a GS again. I think judging by her character in the past, she will now try even harder to reach her goals. Lost Hope?

dari Says:

Congratulations to Vika A!
She was the pick for many and certainly came through on those predictions. I was waiting for her first slam!

And Maria- 24 and gone through so much in her career, she is working her way back to the very top and I think she will get a slam this year.

Kimberly Says:

Can’t believe I slept through this. Congrats Vika. Now the number 1 player has won a slam!

Kimberly Says:

when she played that third round match against Williams (unfortunate draw) in the US Open I thought she seemed as if she had matured and was ready to win. Next time I think she will beat Williams.

S Green Says:

Shrieks and hoots aside, the white shorts-clad Azarenka was my first choice all along. I’d found something to connect with her GREEN head & wrist bands; then, I knew a woman in my teennage whose eyes resembled Vica’s:-)

Obviously I always wanted to see WTA No. 1 with a Slam so people stop demeaning its chaotic systems and female players as a whole. For that too, we are grateful to the Belorussian, who was contemplating to give up tennis last year, thanks to her grandmother for convincing Vica to stick around a couple of more years. I believe she will achieve a lot more.
Her “What happened?” was fitting.

Sharapova won only 3 games for the 2nd time in a GS final, the other being the 2007 final against Serena (6-1, 6-2). Among the most lopsided AO was Serena’s thumping of Safina with the same score line but the bagel then was in the 1st set (6-0, 6-3).
Yes, Petra would have given a better fight in the final, perhaps.

Ajet Says:

again heartbreak! was rooting for masha. but well, congrats azarenka!

WTF Says:

Sharapova won as many games as she did against Serena in the 07 final, 6-1 6-3.

Oh well, one shrieker loses to another. The (slightly) lesser of evils won imo.

S Green Says:

WTF, your baseless cynicism is the devil incarnate; your blatant negativity and meanness, a self-reflection, makes you a greater “evil.” You would know had you checked the mirror, alas. And you claim to have an opinion, what the f*ck (WTF)?

Top story: Tsitsipas Tops Karatsev In Monte Carlo; Nadal, Djokovic v Sinner Wed.
Most Recent story: Auger Aliassime Hopes Uncle Toni Can Help Him Qualify For The ATP Finals