Azarenka notches win No.17 in Doha
Originally published on: 20/02/12 10:05
Novak Djokovic may be the master of the streak – the consecutive kind that is – but Victoria Azarenka is making a name for herself in that department after notching her 17th straight win with victory at the Qatar Open.
The Belarusian, who won in Sydney and at the Australian Open, picked up her third straight title of the year in Doha after pummelling Sam Stosur for the loss of just three games.
The 6-1 6-2 triumph was the 22-year-old’s sixth consecutive win over the US Open champion and came in spite of her injuring her ankle during her semi-final match with fourth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
“It’s amazing,” Azarenka said. “I can’t believe I could play that kind of tennis today. I knew I wouldn’t be 100 per cent, so I had to change and adjust. I was just surprised today that everything was going in.”
Known for her effective kick serve, Stosur was unable to cause much of a dent with the weapon as the Australian won only 50 per cent of first serve points and 48 per cent on the second.
“She has a huge serve, and the first shot, that’s where she puts the opponent on the run, and you run so far behind the baseline,” acknowledged Azarenka. “I tried to take that away from her.”
“Victoria is very good at neutralising everything,” conceded Stosur. “Pace doesn’t really seem to bother her. You’ve got to find another way to win against her.”
It was Stosur’s 11th defeat in 14 WTA finals, but she had a welcome return to form in reaching the Doha final after losing three of four matches during the Australian summer.
“For sure I’m happy with the week I’ve had,” Stosur said. “It’s been great to turn my form around so quickly after a disappointing month.”
Azarenka, meanwhile, next heads to Dubai, hoping to continue her streak at the very same venue that saw her ousted in the first round and consider quitting tennis for good last year, were it not for the intervention of her mother and grandma.
But before thoughts of a fourth straight win come into play, there’s that ankle to worry about.
“It’s not as bad as it could have been,” revealed Azarenka. “I have a couple of days to recover before Dubai and see how I feel. Right now, I just want to enjoy the moment and not think ahead too much.”