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As it happened: Victoria Azarenka successfully defends Australian Open crown

Saturday, 26 January 2013 - 2:05pm IST Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2013 - 5:17pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna
  • Reuters

Li Na starts with the first service game.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:14 IST

Azarenaka breaks Li Na's serve to lead the Australian open final 1-0.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:17 IST

Azarenka serves to consolidate the break.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:20 IST

Li Na breaks back to equal 1-1.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:20 IST

Victoria Azarenka
World ranking: 1
Birthdate:
July 31, 1989
Birthplace:
Minsk, Belarus
Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 66 kg
Plays: Right-handed
Turned pro: 2003
Coach: Sam Sumyk
Singles titles: 14
Prize money: $16,857,277
Best Australian Open result: Champion (2012)
Road to final
1st round: Beat Monica Niculescu (Romania) 6-1 6-4
2nd round: Beat Eleni Daniilidou (Greece) 6-1 6-0
3rd round: Beat Jamie Hampton (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-2
4th round: Beat Elena Vesnina (Russia) 6-1 6-1
Quarters: Beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 7-5 6-1
Semis: Beat 29-Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-1 6-4

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:25 IST

Li Na finally holds her serve to lead Victoria Azarenka 2-1 in the first set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:26 IST

Li Na
World ranking: 6
Birthdate:
February 26, 1982
Birthplace:
Wuhan, China
Residence:
Wuhan, China
Height: 172 cm
Weight: 65 kg
Plays: Right-handed
Turned pro: 1999
Coach: Carlos Rodriguez
Singles titles: 7
Prize money: $9,461,614
Best Australian Open result:
Runner-up (2011)
Road to final
1st round: Beat Sesil Karatantcheva (Kazhakstan) 6-1 6-3
2nd round: Beat Olga Govortsova (Russia) 6-2 7-5
3rd round: Beat 27-Sorana Cirstea (Romania) 6-4 6-1
4th round: Beat 18-Julia Goerges (Germany) 7-6 6-1
Quarters: Beat 4-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 7-5 6-3
Semis: Beat 2-Maria Sharapova (Russia) 6-2 6-2

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:27 IST

Li Na breaks Azarenka again to go up 3-1.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:29 IST

Li Na fails to consolidate the break as Victoria Azarenka breaks back to make it 3-2 and it's back on serve in the first set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:36 IST

Li Na breaks the Azarenka serve to make it 4-2.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:39 IST

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:40 IST

Victoria Azarenka is looking to become the 8th player to defend the Australian Open title after Magaret Court, Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:41 IST

Li Na consolidates break to make it 5-2. Azarenka serving to stay in the first set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:45 IST

Victoria Azarenka is yet to hold serve in the first set, she needs to do it to stay in this set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:46 IST

Finally, Victoria Azarenka holds serve to make it 5-3 and now Li Na has to serve for the set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:48 IST

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:48 IST

Victoria Azarenka breaks back as Li Na fails to serve for the set. It's 5-4.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 14:52 IST

Li Na takes the first set 6-4 as Azarenka fails to hold her serve.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:00 IST

After a topsy-turvy first set Li Na manages to seal it.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:07 IST

Victoria Azarenka breaks the Li Na serve in the first game of the second set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:08 IST

Azarenka holds her serve to consolidate the break. She leads Li Na 2-0.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:13 IST

First set report: Li Na manages to edge Victoria Azarenaka

China's Li Na used her powerful groundstrokes and a strong return of serve against Victoria Azarenka to take the first set of their Australian Open final 6-4 on Saturday.

Perhaps weighed down by expectation from the most populous nation in the world and with an estimated 100 million people watching on television in China, Li had a shaky start, serving a double fault on the first point and having her serve broken.

The world number six, however, bounced straight back to the delight of the overwhelmingly pro-Li crowd in Rod Laver Arena and used her powerful forehand to break Azarenka twice to hold a 3-1 lead.

Azarenka then battled back to break to reduce the deficit to 3-2, but was broken again by Li, who was relentlessly attacking the Belarusian's serve. Azarenka was able to hold for the first time in the eighth game and break in the ninth, but Li broke again on her fourth set point to take it in 44 minutes.--Reuters

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:17 IST

Victoria Azarenka breaks Li Na's serve again to go 3-0 up in the second set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:18 IST

Li Na breaks Azarenka for a break back to make it 1-3.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:22 IST

Li Na suffers an injury and there's a medical time out.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:28 IST

Li Na returns after the medical time out as she has her left ankle taped.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:33 IST

Li Na holds serve after injury break to make it 3-2.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:34 IST

Azarenka saves 3 break points to hold serve and make it 4-2.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:40 IST

Li Na holds serve to make it 3-4.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:48 IST

Li Na comes back in the second set breaks Azarenka to make it 4-4.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:50 IST

Victoria Azarenka breaks Li Na to make it 5-4 as she gets set to serve for the second set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:55 IST

Azarenka back in the final as she serves to make it 6-4 taking the second set. The match heads to a decider.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 15:58 IST

Azarenka gets the third set going with a 1-0 lead.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:04 IST

Li Na hits back to break the Azarenka serve as the match as 15 breaks of serves in it so far. It's 1-1 in the third and final set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:08 IST

Li Na holds serve and makes it 2-1.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:10 IST

Play has been stopped as the Australia Day celebration gets underway.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:12 IST

Second set: Victoria Azarenka wins 6-4

Victoria Azarenka levelled the Australian Open final against China's Li Na at one set all after she took advantage of a painful-looking ankle injury to the Chinese to take the second set 6-4.

The world number one had trouble with her serve in the first set as Li pressured her to take it 6-4 before the Belarusian finally found her range with her groundstrokes in the second set and moved a lot better to race out to a 3-0 lead. Li broke back, but then suffered a sickening ankle injury after she was forced to change direction when an Azarenka backhand volley deep in the court levelled the score at 30-30 on Li's serve in the fifth game.

The Chinese took a medical timeout to have the ankle heavily strapped but held serve on her return and then got three break points in the next game as both players tightened up and were seemingly unable to hold serve. With the match on serve at 4-3, Li was broken again by Azarenka who then served out to love in the next game to send it into a decider when a Li forehand sailed wide.

Perhaps weighed down by expectation from the most populous nation in the world and with an estimated 100 million people watching on television in China, Li had a shaky start, serving a double fault on the first point and having her serve broken. The world number six, however, bounced straight back to the delight of the overwhelmingly pro-Li crowd in Rod Laver Arena and used her powerful forehand to break Azarenka twice to hold a 3-1 lead.

Azarenka then battled back to break to reduce the deficit to 3-2, but was broken again by Li, who was relentlessly attacking the Belarusian's serve. Azarenka was able to hold for the first time in the eighth game and break in the ninth, but Li broke again on her fourth set point when the Belarusian double faulted to take the first set 6-4.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Patrick Johnston)Reuters

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:20 IST

Match resumes as Li Na takes a tumble.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:21 IST

Li Na gets examined by the doctor as another medical time out is taken by the Chinese player.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:26 IST

Match resumes as Azarenka serves.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:28 IST

Azarenka holds serve to make it 2-2 in the third set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:30 IST

Victoria Azarenka breaks Li Na to make it 3-2 in the final set.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:36 IST

Azarenka holds serve to love. Leads Li Na in the third set 4-2.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:40 IST

Li Na holds her serve to make it 4-3 but Azarenka still has the break.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:43 IST

Azarenka holds her serve to make it 5-3 as Li Na serves to stay in the match.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:49 IST

Victoria Azarenka wins Australian Open 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:55 IST

Azarenka drops her racquet straight onto the ground and covers her eyes with her hands. The Belarusian player shakes hands with Li Na and then heads to the chair and sobs into her towel.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 16:57 IST

Victoria Azarenka retains her World No1 ranking, fending off Serena Williams who was in hot pursuit of the top spot. As Li Na moves to World No5 with her top-knotch performance.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 17:00 IST

Li Na accepts the runner's up trophy from the great Margaret Court as she gets a great clap from the crowd.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 17:07 IST

Li Na says her thank you speech, "Congratulations to Victoria, you've had fantastic result these two years. Two weeks ago I have to say I hate my team, they push me a lot. But I think it's not bad so I should shut up and continue. Thanks to all the fans for supporting me. I know I'm not young, but I have to say I'm looking forward to next year."

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 17:10 IST

Victoria Azarenka is the eighth woman to successfully defend the Australian Open title.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 17:11 IST


Victoria Azarenka accepts her trophy as she says, "It's been a real long two weeks for me. So many things I'd love to say but I'll try to keep it short. Craig (Tiley) is one of the best tournament directors I've ever met & he's so supportive of players. Love coming here. I will always keep very special memories of this court and I will keep it in my heart forever. Last think I wanted to say is Happy Australia Day."

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 17:12 IST

Victoria Azarenka celebrates her win with the trophy.

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 17:17 IST



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