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Azarenka wins Australian Open

MINSK, 30 January (BelTA) – Victoria Azarenka of Belarus secured her maiden Grand Slam title and the world number one spot after beating Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-3, 6-0 at the Melbourne Park on 28 January, BelTA has learnt.

The 22-year-old Belarusian recovered from a nervous start when she was behind 0-2 to storm to an impressive victory and will now take over the world No1 ranking from Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.

With this victory Azarenka now leads 4-3 in her personal meetings with Maria Sharapova.

On the way to the first major final in her career the Belarusian defeated Britain’s Heather Watson (No.105) 6-1, 6-0, Australian Casey Dellacqua (No.126) 6-1, 6-0, German Mona Barthel (No.44) – 6-2, 6-4, Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic (No.46) 6-2, 6-2, Poland’s Adnieszka Radwanska (No.8) 6-7, 6-0, 6-2, and last year’s winner Kim Clijsters of Belgium (14) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

This season Victoria Azarenka has won WTA tournament for the second time. In early January she was the best in Sidney. Now she holds 10 victories in her WTA career.

After the triumph in Melbourne Victoria Azarenka will travel to Worcester next weekend to play the US as part of the Belarusian national team at the Fed Cup’s 2012 World Group II.

The President of Belarus congratulated Victoria Azarenka on her success at the Australian Open and awarded her the Order of Motherland III Class.