Aus Open, women’s singles final: Victoria Azarenka vs Li Na - As it happened
Zeenews Sports Bureau
Melbourne: Defending champion Victoria Azarenka defeats Li Na in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open 2013 at the Melbourne Park.
Azarenka won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Victoria Azarenka witnessed some anxious moments as she defeated American teenager Sloane Stephens. 6-1, 6-4
Li Na demolished Sharapova 6-2, 6-2 to book her berth for the final.
THIRD SET: Azarenka leading 4-3
Azarenka broke Li Na’s serve in the first game itself with a powerful forehand winner. Li Na immediately broke Azarenka’s serve in the next game as the Belarusian made a double fault, that gave the game to Li Na. The Chinese then held on to her serve to lead 2-1 in the decider. Both the players went for a long break after this, just to compose themselves. And guess what Li Na once again falls on the ground! The physio is on the ground and he is confirming whether she can resume play.
The Chinese finally resumed play but she lacked rhythm in the next game as Azarenka made her run on the court, and Li Na wasn’t quick enough to respond to some of her opponent’s shot. Azarenka levelled scores at 2-2. Azarenka had two break points at 15-40 and she finally broke the serve as Li Na’s shot hit the nets. Leading 3-2 in the final set.
Azarenka then won four straight points to extend her lead to 4-2. Li Na then held on to her serve and reduced the lead to 3-4.Li Na then produced two superb return to take a lead of 0-30 in Azarenka’s serve before making two errors to level scores at 30-30. Li Na then changed the pace of the game forcing Azarenka to make an error, leading 30-40. A backhand didn’t work for the Chinese off the next point and it was back to deuce. Azarenka then took the advantage with a good forehand winner. Li Na then smashed a return wide and Azarenka extended her lead to 5-3.
Li Na served to stay in the match. Azarenka won the first point, 0-15. But then Li Na delivered a great serve and smashed a superb backhand winner, 15-15. Azarenka then came to the nets for a volley, but another good return from Li Na left her surprised as the ball whistled past her, 30-15. Azarenka then produced a good forehand cross court and Li Na couldn’t reach there, 30-30. Li Na followed it with a good serve and a good backhand to lead 40-30. Li Na’s backhand then found the nets off the next point and it was deuce! Li Na’s backhand then landed wide and Azarenka had the championship point of the match! and Victoria Azarenka won her second consecutive title as Li Na's return landed long!
SECOND SET: Victoria Azarenka won it 6-4
Li Na was down 3 sets to love in the second set but she bounced back to level scored at 4-4. Azarenka then broke her opponent’s serve to serve for the set. Li Na made three consecutive errors which gave Azarenka three set points, Li Na’s forehand landed wide and Azarenka won the set. The defending champion took 58 minutes to win the second set.
FIRST SET: Li Na won it 6-4
The Chinese surprised Azarenka with her strokes and was the better of the two players. A strong return of serve was also something which helped Li Na trouble the defending champion. Li Na won the first set in 45 minutes. By now, the defending champion would have known that she will have to play her heart out to win two successive titles at the Australian Open.