Azarenka retains Aussie Open title


VICTORIA AZARENKA successfully defended her Australian Open title following a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Li Na in the final Saturday night.

The 23-year-old Belarusian will retain the No. 1 ranking she’s mostly held since her first Grand Slam win in Melbourne last year.

Li moved into the top five and is heartened by a recent trend of Australian runner-ups winning the French Open. She accomplished that in 2011, as did Ana Ivanovic (2008) and Maria Sharapova (2012).

Azarenka had generated some bad PR by taking a medical timeout after wasting five match points on her own serve in her semifinal win over American teenager¬†Sloane Stephens on Thursday. She came back after the break and finished off Stephens in the next game, later telling an on-court interviewer that she ”almost did the choke of the year.” Noli Cruz


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