Serena Outdoes Azarenka In Brisbane
Published January 04, 2014 12:15
In an absolute dream final between the Top 2 players in the world, the No.1-ranked Williams squared off against No.2-ranked Victoria Azarenka, and from the beginning Williams was in control - she had almost five times as many winners as Azarenka in the first set (14 to 3) and also stepped up when it really counted, converting on the only break point in the entire set. She would take the set, 6-4.
The second set was streakier - Williams stormed out to a 2-0 lead, Azarenka ran off four games in a row to lead 4-2, then Williams caught up again. Eventually the pair fell into a holding pattern until Williams broke one last time for 6-5, then she calmly served the match out to prevail, 64 75.
"I want to congratulate Serena on a great week and a great match today," Azarenka said at the on-court trophy presentation. "I always enjoy playing you and I hope to meet you again in Melbourne.
"Since my first year here I've had such good memories and I'll take some from this year too."
Williams was then given her trophy and took the microphone. "I want to congratulate Vika for being a great player and a great champion, and just someone I enjoy playing against and seeing around," Williams said. "And I hope we do play in Melbourne because that would mean we would make it far.
"I would also like to thank the crowd here in Brisbane for always being so supportive."
"We love you Serena!" a fan yelled out.
"I love you back!" she replied.
Williams now has 58 WTA titles to her name. She is still No.7 on the all-time leaders for WTA titles, following Martina Navratilova (who leads the all-time list with 167 WTA titles), Chris Evert (154), Steffi Graf (107), Margaret Court (92), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (68) and Billie Jean King (67).
Williams will now go into the Australian Open having won 22 matches in a row since falling to Azarenka in the finals of Cincinnati - but another streak, Azarenka's 24 wins in a row in Australia, came to an end.
The doubles title went to Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova, who beat Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva in the final, 63 61. Kudryavtseva and Rodionova now have three WTA doubles titles together, having won 's-Hertogenbosch in 2010 and Québec City last fall - individually, Rodionova now has seven WTA doubles titles to her name while Kudryavtseva has six WTA doubles titles.
"It's great to play in front of the Australian crowd," Rodionova said. "I haven't won a title before in Australia and it feels amazing. I felt like we had so much support. It was a great week for us."
"We're really happy with the result and the way we played today and this week," Kudryavtseva said. "We're playing the whole year together, and if we continue playing this way it's going to be great."