WTA Miami - Sharapova routed by Azarenka in Miami
Sat, 02 Apr 17:12:00 2011
Azarenka's victory, her sixth career title, will lift her to sixth in the world rankings next week - equalling her career best standing.
The 21-year-old was on top from the outset - breaking Sharapova's first two serves - although she also lost her own first serve game in a scrappy start to the match.
Sharapova, currently ranked 13th in the world, was seeking her first tournament win since May but never found her rhythm nor her serve which she held just once in the match.
The Russian has now lost all three of the finals she has reached at Key Biscayne.
"It's obviously very disappointing given the other finals here as well but she was definitely the better player today and she has had a great tournament," said Sharapova.
WTA Miami final
Former world number one Sharapova made 43 unforced errors, gifting points to Azarenka, who showed a good range of shots, particularly her delicate slice.
Nonetheless, Sharapova managed to ground out an opportunity for a comeback in the second set when she broke Azarenka, who double-faulted on break point, to move within a game at 5-4.
But once again the Russian was unable to hold her serve and Azarenka recorded an eighth break point and captured the title when Sharapova found the net.
"I played really well in the first set but Maria is a great fighter and I had to really hang in there at the end," said a delighted Azarenka, who also triumphed here in 2009 over Serena Williams.
As expected, the match was a noisy affair on court with both players shrieking and wailing on every shot.Reuters