Tennis

Azarenka sweeps past Kuznetsova to claim Miami Open

Victoria Azarenka is only third woman to win back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami.
Victoria Azarenka is only third woman to win back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports
2 min

Victoria Azarenka breezed past the Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova on Saturday night to claim the Miami Open for the third time. The Belarusian won 6-3 6-2 in 77 minutes to add to her victories in 2009 and 2011. Her efforts will be rewarded in the world rankings on Monday when she will rise to number five. 

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Azarenka also becomes only the third woman after Steffi Graf in 1996 and Kim Clijsters in 2005 to win the WTA tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back.

"I've been reminded of this since the quarter-finals on social media. People have been saying: 'She's going for the Sunshine Double,'" Azarenka said.

"I've done really well not to get distracted by the future and concentrate on the present."
 

Azarenka, a former world number one and two times winner of the Australian Open, has rediscovered her best form this season after injuries blighted her progress in 2014 and 2015.

She began the year with victory in Brisbane in January and last month battled past world number one Serena Williams to win at Indian Wells.

"Being fit and being prepared helps a lot," added Azarenka. "I have a different approach and perspective from a couple of years ago."

Having collected the 20th title of her career, she will be one of the people to beat on the clay court swing of the season which culminates at the French Open in Paris in May.

"I'm definitely very motivated for the clay season," added the 26-year-old. "I've always been a favourite of proving people wrong. That's what motivates me a lot.

"When people say it's not my favourite surface, I'm going to work really hard to make sure it's my favourite surface."

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