Azarenka defeats Sharapova for 2nd Miami title | sports | Hindustan Times
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Azarenka defeats Sharapova for 2nd Miami title

sports Updated: Apr 03, 2011 08:26 IST
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Shrieking with every shot, Victoria Azarenka won the Sony Ericsson Open for the second time by beating Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 in Saturday's final.

The No. 8-seeded Azarenka was the steadier player and swept nine consecutive games to take charge. Sharapova committed 43 unforced errors, held serve only once and came up short with a late comeback bid.

"I played real well the first set," Azarenka said. "Maria is such a great fighter, I knew she was going to fight to the end. She came up with great tennis at the end, and I had to hang in there. That's what paid off."

Azarenka also won at Key Biscayne in 2009, stopping Serena Williams in the final. The two titles are the biggest of the Belarussian's career.

Sharapova, whose most recent title was at Strasbourg in May 2010, has lost her past four finals. She fell to 0-3 in finals at Key Biscayne, where she was also the runner-up in 2005 and 2006.

On Sunday, No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal will play for the men's championship against No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who is 23-0 this year.

The women's final matched two of the most notorious grunters in tennis. Beforehand, Azarenka suggested fans wear earplugs, and the two players traded shrieks on every rally, drawing giggles from the crowd at one point.