Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka Wins Third Miami Open Title – Headlines & Global News

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Victoria Azarenka Wins Third Miami Open Title

By Henry Buggy | Apr 03, 2016 03:01 PM EDT

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka won her third Miami Open title Saturday, taking down 19th-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

Azarenka joins Steffi Graf (1994 and 1996) and Kim Clijsters (2005) as the only women to win back-to-back tournaments at Indian Wells and Key Biscayne. The two-time Grand Slam winner is on a roll in 2016 and improved he record to 22-1 on the year, with her only loss coming in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to Angelique Kerber.

“I want to dedicate this win to my family and my parents, who I don’t see that often, Azarenka said. “My parents taught me a lot of really great things. They gave me roots, and I always know where I come from, and they gave me wings to fly so I can be here.”

The former women’s tennis’ No. 1 player in the world fell out of the top rankings in 2014 due to foot and thigh injuries, but she is expected to return to the top five next week. “I wouldn’t go out there and kill myself every day if I didn’t feel like that,” Azarenka said when asked if she was the best player in the world.

The 26-year-old tennis star avenged her only loss of the year, beating third-ranked Kerber in the semifinals of the Miami Open 6-2, 7-5, and she posted a photo of her shoe and sock following the match, writing, “blood and sweat for real.” Azarenka’s dominant performance didn’t take away from Kuznetsova’s incredible run at the Miami Open, as she ousted women’s tennis’ top player Serena Williams in the fourth round of the tournament.

“The strategy was a few different things, but the most important thing was really to dictate the game,” Azarenka said. “She’s a great player, and she’s very good in defense.”

“In key moments, she was playing better than I did,” Kuznetsova said. “I couldn’t take advantage. I didn’t make my shots. That’s it.” The 30-year-old Russian tennis star will move up to No. 13 in the WTA rankings, which is the highest ranking that she has received since 2011.

Women’s tennis may be seeing a power shift with Azarenka’s dominance so far in 2016, but don’t rule Williams out despite not winning a tournament since last August, as there is still plenty of tennis to play with three Majors still ahead this year.

Victoria Azarenka Wins Third Miami Open Title – Headlines & Global News