Azarenka beats Li in dramatic Australian final

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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus kisses her trophy after winning the women’s final against China’s Li Na at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. AP

MELBOURNE — Victoria Azarenka won an incident-packed final against an injury-hit Li Na to successfully defend her Australian Open title and retain the world number one ranking on Saturday.

After a scrappy match marked by boos for Azarenka, a break for Australia Day fireworks and two painful falls for China’s Li, the Belarusian top seed dissolved in tears after sealing the 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.

Li required two medical timeouts, when she twice twisted her left ankle and also banged her head on the court, in a match also interrupted for nine minutes at a crucial stage by the fireworks.

Azarenka overcame a pro-Li crowd that was clearly unimpressed by her controversial medical timeout in the semi-finals, which she took after blowing five match points.

It was a gutsy effort from the 23-year-old as she came back from a set down and sealed it on her first match point in 2 hours and 40 minutes to clinch her second Grand Slam title.

Azarenka became only the fourth active player to hold two or more majors, behind Serena Williams with 15, Venus Williams with seven, Maria Sharapova with four and Svetlana Kuznetsova with two.

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  • g_force12678

    I think Li Na is better than Azerenka. Maybe, Li Na is the winner if she did not have that injury.  

  • http://twitter.com/MarLouWang Marlou Wang

    Congrats to Australia!!!! 

  • sanjuan683

    hehehe hinahalikan niya yun trophy ang dumi yata niya.

  • regd

    Was rooting for Li Na and feel sorry when she was hurting. T’was a good game nonetheless. 

  • Alex Leo

    So frustrated with this win. From the irritating loud grunts to that controversial time out in the semi-finals, she is not a classy player.

  • balut123

    the cheat won!…what a shame…

    • patriot2008

      But Azarenka did not cheat in the Final. She beat china’s Li Na fair and square and she was the better player under pressure in the last set. Li Na admitted that Azarenka was the better player in that game post match. So hooraay!!!!!!!!

  • patriot2008

    Yes, congratulations to Azarenko for beating Li Na. This match made my Saturday night. Go! Go! Go!

  • Uragorn

    She would be the FIFTH, not FOURTH, active women’s player to hold a multi-slam title. In any case, congrats to her for winning her second Major title, but I wonder what would have happened had Li Na not been injured.

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