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Victoria Azarenka

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March 18, 2012 | By Bill Dwyre
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus kept her hot hand going Sunday in thre women's final of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. On a cold and windy day, Azarenka beat second-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia, 6-2, 6-3. That brought Azarenka the first-ever $1 million winner's check for the women's side of this event. It also brought her year-to-date record to 23-0. She won the Australian open, beating Sharapova in that final, too, and now has won the title in five of the last six tournaments she has entered.
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March 4, 2014 | By Bill Dwyre
If you are heading to the desert for some tennis viewing over the next 12 days, get ready for more of the same. In the case of the prestigious BNP Paribas Open, that's not a bad thing. There will be some radical differences in the physical plant, where there has been an estimated $70 million in improvements, including a new enclosed Stadium 2, plus palm trees and walkways and shady areas galore. This event, designated by the pro tours as the next notch below the four majors and bringing near-mandatory participation, has generally taken the approach of sparing no expense to get better.
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SPORTS
August 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka beat seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, Saturday in an unevenly played semifinal at the Southern California Open in Carlsbad. Azarenka will play in Sunday's 2 p.m. final against the winner of Saturday night's semifinal between fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur and unseeded Virginie Razzano. Azarenka had seemed on her way to an easy and dominating win after the pummeling she put on Ivanovic in winning the first set without the loss of a game. But Ivanovic began to gain confidence, became more vocal while hitting some forehand winners and won the final two games to take the second set. Azarenka got the first service break of the final set in the fifth game when Ivanovic made three backhand errors and didn't win a point on her serve.
SPORTS
October 7, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Maria Sharapova, who missed the U.S. Open with the same problem, withdrew from the season-ending WTA Championships on Monday because of a right shoulder injury. Sharapova, ranked No. 3 in the world, will miss the tournament in Istanbul from Oct. 22-27. Already qualified are Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic. The tournament features the top eight singles players and top four doubles teams. Sharapova, 26, has been bothered by right shoulder problems for more than five years and had surgery in late 2008 to repair her rotator cuff on her serving shoulder.
SPORTS
August 4, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Samantha Stosur, winner of the 2011 U.S. Open over Serena Williams, defeated top-seeded Victoria Azarenka for the first time in her career in a 6-2, 6-3 upset  in the finals of the Southern California Open for her first tournament victory since that stunning U.S. Open title. Azarenka started slowly and finished the same way. She lost the opening two games, with her serve broken at love when she had consecutive double faults. Despite having a 40-30 advantage in the third game, Stosur blew a chance at a 3-0 lead when she double faulted and had two forehand errors and was broken.
SPORTS
September 4, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK -- Victoria Azarenka, seeded second and winner of the last two Australian Opens, has advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday night with a routine 6-2, 6-3 win over unseeded Daniela Hantuchova. Azarenka will find another unseeded player in the semifinals, Italian Flavia Pennetta. Last year at this tournament, Azarenka held a 5-3 third-set lead over No. 1-seeded Serena Williams before the American won the final four games and the title. Azarenka, 24, who joined a trio of 31-year-olds -- Willliams and Li Na plus Pennetta -- in the semifinals, said, "I'm a baby.
SPORTS
February 17, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
With her march back to the No. 1 ranking complete, Serena Williams promptly lost in the finals of the Qatar Open to the woman she will replace atop the world rankings. It's odd how sports and rankings work that way. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus successfully defender her Qatar Open title by defeating Williams, 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3, on Sunday in Doha. It was Azarenka's 14th consecutive victory this season, including her triumph in the Australian Open last month. And, despite ending a 10-match losing streak to Williams, her American rival will somehow replace her atop the WTA rankings on Monday.
SPORTS
September 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK---Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka stayed on track to reach the U.S. Open finals Tuesday morning with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback win over 13th-seeded Ana Ivanovic in a fourth-round match. All the other women who play Tuesday are in quarterfinal matches, but it was decided Monday when it rained during the day that this match would be pushed back a day. Later tonight top-seeded Serena Williams will play 18th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro. Azarenka and Ivanovic both struggled to hold serve and tried other ways to win points, especially employing the drop shot.
SPORTS
September 7, 2012 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK -- Victoria Azarenka reached her first U.S. Open final Friday with a powerful display of tennis that left her dancing on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Azarenka, ranked No. 1 in the world and top-seeded here, beat No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, in a semifinal that lasted 2 hours 42 minutes. Azarenka will face the winner of Friday's second semifinal between fourth-seeded Serena Williams and 10th-seeded Sara Errani at 4 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. Azarenka's only previous Grand Slam win came earlier this year at the Australian Open.
SPORTS
August 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
CARLSBAD - There wasn't much for Victoria Azarenka to brag about Saturday at the Southern California Open women's tennis tournament. Her errors were as emphatic as her winners. Her high-pitched screams were as much in frustration as in effort. But ultimately the outcome was favorable for the top-seeded Azarenka, who defeated seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, in an unevenly played semifinal that lasted 1 hour 53 minutes. Azarenka, who took the first major title of the year when she won the Australian Open in January, will play in today's final against fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia, the 2011 U.S. Open winner, who defeated wild-card entrant Virginie Razzano of France, 7-6 (2)
SPORTS
September 8, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK -- Top-seeded Serena Williams won her 17th Grand Slam title and her fifth U.S. Open on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 victory over second-seeded Victoria Azarenka on Arthur Ashe Stadium court. When Azarenka's final service return went long, Williams pumped her fists and yelled, "Come on. " Williams had also won the French Open this year and seemed well on her way to her second straight U.S. Open title when she led 7-5, 4-1 Sunday. But the 31-year-old Williams was broken twice when serving for the match and then lost the tiebreaker to the 24-year-old Azarenka, who  won the Australian Open this year.
SPORTS
September 8, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - It's hard to rate 17 Grand Slam titles. Is the first one the best, or the one achieved on a surface most unfriendly to your game? Is it the time you came back from injuries, or the rally from a two-game deficit in the final set? Or perhaps it's this one - the U.S. Open championship Serena Williams won Sunday with a 7-5, 6-7 (6) 6-1 victory over Victoria Azarenka in 2 hours 45 minutes on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Williams, the defending champion, once led, 7-5, 4-1, and CBS announcer Mary Carillo left the television booth during the second set to be ready for the trophy presentation.
SPORTS
September 6, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK -- Second-seeded and second-ranked Victoria Azarenka is in her second straight U.S. Open final. Azarenka, 24, from Belarus, didn't play error-free tennis. But against an opponent who had never been this far in a major tournament, Azarenka didn't have to be at her best. Azarenka beat unseeded 31-year-old Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-2, in one of the women's semifinal matches. There could be a rematch of last year's women's final, in which Serena Williams came back to win the last four games of the final set for the victory.
SPORTS
September 6, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK - From her first massive forehand to her final well-placed service winner, top-seeded and defending champion Serena Williams left no doubt Friday against Li Na. Williams beat the fifth-seeded Li, 6-0, 6-3, to advance to the U.S. Open finals. There was a nearly 14-minute game when Li saved six match points in the second set, and it was full of creative points worthy of the standing ovations both players received. But when Li finally won the game it was only to keep her behind, 5-3, with Williams ready to serve out the match.
SPORTS
September 4, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
NEW YORK --  Second-seeded Rafael Nadal allowed the man who beat Roger Federer only five points in the first set and went on to win his U.S. Open quarterfinal match over fellow Spaniard and the 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2, in 1 hour 40 minutes Wednesday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal, who hasn't had his serve broken in this tournament, pounded Robredo from the beginning. The 27-year-old Nadal, who is playing without tape on his chronically sore knees, seems to be moving more freely than he has in two years and from the first point he hit his groundstrokes deep and into all the corners and on the lines.
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