Tennis - Azarenka overcomes Serena Williams for Cincinnati title

Victoria Azarenka won a showdown between the world's two top ranked players beating number one Serena Williams in a three-set thriller 2-6 6-2 7-6 in the final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Reuters
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Victoria Azarenka (right) and Serena Williams (left) after the WTA Cincinnati final, won by Azarenka (AFP)

For two hours and 30 minutes, Azarenka and Williams engaged in a seesaw centre court battle before the second ranked Belarusian finally clinched the victory, winning a nervy tie-break 8-6 to stop the American from ticking one 'to do' item off her 'bucket list'.

In a career that has generated 54 singles titles, including 16 grand slams, Williams had won just about everything there is to win in her sport - but not Cincinnati, one of the WTA Tour's most prestigious tournaments.

Cincinnati will remain a hole on her resume for at least another year after Azarenka answered the challenge claiming just her third win in 15 tries against the 31-year-old American.

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