FACTBOX: Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in the final of the 2012 Australian Open on Saturday. Azarenka will become world number one when the latest rankings are released on Monday.sports Updated: Jan 28, 2012 15:56 IST
Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in the final of the 2012 Australian Open on Saturday. Azarenka will become world number one when the latest rankings are released on Monday.
Here's a look at her career so far:
* Born July 31, 1989 in Minsk, Belarus
* Turns professional in 2003
* At 14 moves to Scottsdale, Arizona to train, where she was helped by NHL goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin's family to assimilate to the US.
* Win's Australian Open and US Open junior singles titles in 2005.
* Records her first top-20 victory at Memphis in 2006, over 13th-ranked Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic.
* Wins first career title in 2009 in Brisbane, beating France's Marion Bartoli in the final.
* Takes the first set off Serena Williams in Australian Open fourth round but then forced to retire while trailing 2-4 in the second as Melbourne is struck by a once in a century heatwave with temperatures well above 40 degrees Celsius.
* Defeats Caroline Wozniacki in final of Memphis tournament and beats world number one Williams in Miami final to cap tremendous beginning to year having won 24 of her 26 matches and claimed three titles.
* Advances to quarter-finals at French Open and Wimbledon, her best performances in a grand slam and finishes the year ranked seventh.
* Faces a rematch with Serena in 2010 Australian Open quarter-finals, again taking a set off the world number one, before losing 4-6 7-6 6-2.
* Crashes out of French Open first round and loses third round at Wimbledon to Petra Kvitova.
* Returns to US hardcourts and wins Stanford title, beating Sharapova, before making the semi-finals in Montreal.
* Forced to retire from 2010 US Open second round match against Gisela Dulko when she collapsed on court. Later said she had suffered a concussion when she fell and hit her head during her warmup for the match and had suffered dizziness and blurred vision.
TOP 5 RANKING
* Reaches top-five in April, and then becomes highest ranked Belarusian woman when she achieves number four ranking on May 9.
* Makes French Open quarter-finals, losing to eventual champion Li Na of China.
* Continues her good form when she advances to first grand slam semi-final at Wimbledon when she loses to eventual winner Petra Kvitova.
* Loses the WTA Championships final to Kvitova in Istanbul and finished the year ranked third behind the Czech and top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.
* Wins the Sydney tournament before the Australian Open began, beating China's Li in the final.
* Barely been tested on her run to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park where she had to fight off champion Kim Clijsters, who had momentum in the third set.
*Becomes first player from Belarus to reach grand slam final since Natasha Zvereva lost 6-0 6-0 to Steffi Graf in 1988 French Open
* Beats Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in the final of the 2012 Australian Open to win first grand slam title and ensure she will take over as world number one from Caroline Wozniacki.
First Published: Jan 28, 2012 15:53 IST