Azarenka wins dramatic Oz Open final

Comment on this story


Azarenka_trophy1

REUTERS

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus poses with The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after defeating Li Na of China to win the Australian Open.

Melbourne, Australia – Victoria Azarenka overcome an often hostile crowd to win back-to-back Australian Open titles, beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a dramatic final on Saturday that contained a break for fireworks, two medical timeouts and a nasty fall to the court by Li.

The Chinese star first tumbled to the court after twisting her left ankle, and had it taped after falling in the fifth game of the second set.

On the first point after a 10-minute pause in the third set while fireworks boomed overhead from nearby Australia Day celebrations, Li fell over again and slammed the back of her head into the court. The 2011 French Open champion was treated immediately and had another time out before being allowed to resume the match.

Azarenka, who broke down in tears and sobbed into her towel when the match ended, won five of the next six games to claim her second major title and retain the No. 1 ranking.

"Unfortunately, you have to go through some rough patches to achieve great things. That's what makes it so special for me," she said. "I went through that, and I'm still able to kiss that beautiful trophy."

The win meant that Azarenka will maintain top spot and Serena Williams, who lost in the quarter-finals, will become the new No. 2 in the rankings.

Li_falls

Li Na of China falls for the second time during her women's singles final match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

REUTERS

On a crisp Saturday night, Azarenka won the coin toss and elected to receive, a ploy that seemed to work when a nervous Li was broken to start the match. After a double fault on the first point, Li's forehand long gave Azarenka the early lead.

The two-hour 40-minute match featured 16 service breaks, with Li losing her service nine times.

The capacity crowd at Rod Laver Arena was firmly behind Li, cheering loudly when she was introduced. Azarenka, meanwhile, had her errors applauded, and one spectator even mocked the loud hooting sound she makes when she hits a shot.

The chill from the crowd was a remnant of Azarenka's semi-final win over American teenager Sloane Stephens, when Azarenka was criticised for taking a questionable 10-minute medical time out near the end of the match. She was accused of taking the time out to compose herself after she'd wasted five match points while serving for the match against Stephens, although Azarenka said she needed the time out because a rib injury was making it difficult for her to breathe.

In the second set Saturday, a few fans heckled Azarenka over the incident. One man yelled, "Take a deep breath, Vicky."

By the end of the match, she appeared to have won some of the fans back. Azarenka's friend, rapper Redfoo, yelled down to her from the player box "You deserve it," and she later blew kisses to the crowd. Someone else in the crowd shouted "Victoria, we love you."

Azarenka appeared to quickly forgive the crowd, saying during the trophy presentations that she wanted to thank the fans for their support.

"I will always keep very special memories of this court and it will be in my heart forever," she said, pausing several times to find the right words. "Of course, I (almost) forgot to say congratulations to Li Na, she's had a terrific start to the year ... hope to see you in many, many more finals."

Azarenka and Li had met twice before in Grand Slam tournaments, with Li winning both times – in the fourth round of the 2011 Australian Open and quarterfinals at the French Open. Li lost the 2011 Australian Open final to Kim Clijsters but won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros a few months later, beating Francesca Schiavone.

But after failing to advance past the fourth round at any major in 2012, Li hired Carlos Rodriguez, Justine Henin's former coach. The hard training he's put her through in the past four months appears to be paying dividends.

Li won a WTA tournament in China before travelling to Australia, where she advanced to the semifinals at the Sydney International.

In the men's final on Sunday night, Novak Djokovic attempts to win his third consecutive Australian Open against U.S. Open champion Andy Murray. Djokovic has had the benefit of an extra day off after an easy three-set win over David Ferrer on Thursday night, while Murray needed a tough five-setter to defeat Roger Federer.

Murray has predicted a tough match with long rallies against Djokovic, the player he beat in the final at Flushing Meadows in September.

"I'm ready for the pain," he said. I hope it's a painful match, that will mean it will be a good one."

In the other final Sunday to end the year's first Grand Slam, the unseeded pairs of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden of Australia and the Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak play for the mixed doubles championship. – Sapa-AP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks
joocypie
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
tkay011
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Nola_505
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
armor2014
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
PrincessEdelweiss
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
SexLips
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
ProVoq
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
Roroe
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
kafze
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
vicky74
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
DDeeZA
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 50.
View Profile
maria8022
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
kgotlas
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Emjae
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
spesy59
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
0cean_ntr
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
ME_JE
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
LadyJimpster
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
Thel_89_zzz
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Shazzyyyy
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
samke_722
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 25.
View Profile
J_Tot
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
leez83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
lulubaby
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 70.
View Profile
pumpania
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
Rosey903
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
briluu
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 37.
View Profile
fiksBee
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 40.
View Profile
mitch09
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 40.
View Profile
Mag137
I'm a 60 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 57 and 67.
View Profile
Bonwel
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 36.
View Profile
Leratomntande
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Garnet3107
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
MeltChocolate
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
hlehle888
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
TABIEE
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 100.
View Profile
ChocLatte
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Foxy88
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
xoxohayleyxoxo
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
sassyfoxylady101
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
FanceFace
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
simphy337
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Baabbygirl
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
fungi1971
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
mello_185
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 60.
View Profile
Funfoodie3012
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Yahoo
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 60.
View Profile
skati43
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
Leematt
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
RealBlackPearl
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Dlodlolas75
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 49.
View Profile
LavishT
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 27.
View Profile
BOTSHELOMAN
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
Bathandwa83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 47.
View Profile
ntando_784
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
zama1zn
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
danda100
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 52.
View Profile
kauwel
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 55.
View Profile
Smashizo
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 37.
View Profile
smilyz
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
kiara_111
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
Blaq_chic
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
nwaolisa
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
honeybee_036
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Casiopiea40
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Dudutuli246
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
MASESHIA
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
Voicelady
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
mcgoyer
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 35.
View Profile
TT200
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
kncyLuv
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
marryme2014
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
MissD123
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 47.
View Profile
LolliCandy
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
RareT0paz
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 60.
View Profile
FiftyshadesB
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 45.
View Profile
Ticom_199
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
curvalicious
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Noks76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Noxy727
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 36.
View Profile
gloml66
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 58.
View Profile
Royalness
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
ranga322
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 40.
View Profile
Mbaliholysexyness
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 27.
View Profile
hellena_596
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
sbobo736
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Sweatma72
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
ally_charmy80
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Sthandwasakhesit
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 35.
View Profile
Mistry_lady
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
sweetnessmgm
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 63.
View Profile
mako_001
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 70.
View Profile
Cyndilouper
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Curvz
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Melone
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
CYAGal
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Zama101
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 100.
View Profile
Rivee
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
Calmine
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Sweetlipsss627
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
myth909
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Deathrow5662
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Clownstotheleftofme
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
mfhalim
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Kelvin7777
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
Rendzo
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Satisfactor99
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
GastFR
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
dev_xoxox52
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 65.
View Profile
Ophion
I'm a 21 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
LIONKING915
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
hawk619
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Mpeks
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Jabz_0
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
Siyabulela90
I'm a 24 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
GD1
I'm a 70 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Minkh
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 29.
View Profile
CoolnCalm
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
PoundzMm
I'm a 23 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
Lucky123nxt
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 40.
View Profile
Wyne_
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 29.
View Profile
dlarah
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Siwithpie
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 45.
View Profile
Thamza_77
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Lawrence218
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
mixido2
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Washe
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
bigbhele
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 55.
View Profile
bangstar
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 23.
View Profile
sbo123sss
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
choeu
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Fanzonator
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Oupa0414
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
GWL321
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 46 and 56.
View Profile
Jono693
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Terror000
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
gario
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 50.
View Profile
mattgeah
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Thulani1234
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
Smooth_Kriminal
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Jb24golf
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
THOKZANHLA
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 44.
View Profile
dlalo
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Sabloma
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 35.
View Profile
charged
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Shadra143
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
tripplekkkk
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
TuEsDAy
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Deejay_homy
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
Ma1010n
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Henry071
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Moxion
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
JonnyBee
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 28.
View Profile
bobbylava
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 31.
View Profile
mesut909
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
shooter_949
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
gothicD
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 37.
View Profile
Qtip
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
catcher182
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 24.
View Profile
TSKgosiemang
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
sweetman465
I'm a 67 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 62.
View Profile
Ernie_Manyesa
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 45.
View Profile
lookingforfunza
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 40.
View Profile
SSBK547P
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
tonym
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
Chacal
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
mcD
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Dayo78
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
STONE_228
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Bento1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Eriqnes
I'm a 33 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
shiva709
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
Diva1308
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Dalubuhle
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 45.
View Profile
Seriousaboutlife325
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
bloodmoney370
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
lmn4life
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Gemini24
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
IceTy
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
gwbyo
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 40.
View Profile
loner729
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Mok_01
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Mxo87
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
tsvoritsvoto
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 25.
View Profile
Phistos_Number_1
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Masterrapture
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 45.
View Profile
Vbe2014
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile

Business Directory