MOSCOW, January 26 (R-Sport) - Victoria Azarenka retained her Australian Open title Saturday, defeating an injury-afflicted Li Na in a dramatic final.
Azarenka won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and retains the world No. 1 ranking as a result, when defeat would have seen Serena Williams take the top spot.
The match was stopped three times, twice when sixth seed Li rolled her ankle and took medical timeouts, and once for a fireworks display.
The first set began with the finalists trading breaks before Li held and broke Azarenka to go 3-1 ahead. Li served for the set at 5-4 up but crumbled and was broken to love.
Azarenka’s errors in the very next game handed her opponent the first set as the Belarusian double-faulted on set point.
Azarenka sprinted to a 3-1 lead in the second set, when Li rolled her ankle for the first time. The problem restricted Li’s movement and Azarenka managed to close out the set despite frequent mistakes.
Li’s ankle injury struck again in the decider with the sixth seed 2-1 ahead, and she hit her head hard on the court as she fell, prompting doctors to check her for signs of concussion.
The Chinese No. 1 then surged back in the next game, taking Azarenka to break point before the Belarusian held serve, but Li was then easily broken on her next service game, setting the stage for Azarenka to close out the match.
Li was the crowd favorite throughout, with many spectators angry over a controversially-timed medical break for Azarenka in her semifinal win over Sloane Stephens.
The men’s final is Sunday, with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic facing third seed Andy Murray.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Monkeys from Borneo and Other Animal News
Infographics: The Origin of Geomagnetic Storms
Cartoons: Dreams of Space
The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.