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Australian Open 2013 - Azarenka defends her title

Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka
by Alexandra Willis
Saturday 26 January 2013

Highlights from the 13th day of Australian Open 2013 at Melbourne Park...

Two times a champion
Victoria Azarenka
claimed her second Grand Slam singles title and second Australian Open singles title in extraordinary circumstances on Rod Laver Arena. Successfully defending her title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Li Na, the final had as many twists as a rollercoaster, including two medical time-outs and the traditional ten-minute break for the Australia Day fireworks.

While Azarenka extended her 13-match Melbourne Park winning streak to 14, Li Na’s 14-1 start to the season finally received an extra loss, as the 2011 Australian Open finalist finished a worthy runner-up.

Li had taken the early advantage by blistering her way to the first set, only for Azarenka to come storming back to a 3-0 lead in the second. The night’s first interruption took place as Li twisted her left ankle uncomfortably, Azarenka closing out the second set before the firework break.

After the firework break, Li went over on the same injured ankle, crashing to the court and thudding her head. With Li’s consistency waning as Azarenka’s improved, it was the Belarusian who got the crucial break in the final set, becoming only the eighth woman to win back-to-back Australian Open titles.

“This one is way more emotional,” Azarenka said. “It’s gonna be extra special for me, for sure.”

“I really feeling I wish I can win the title because this my favourite Grand Slam,” Li said. “Of course I was feeling a little bit sad. I know I’m not young but I have to say I’m very looking forward to next year.”

There’s no stopping…
The Bryan brothers. The most famous twins in tennis won their sixth Australian Open men’s doubles title, a year after the pain of seeing it snatched away from them by Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek. The American duo beat Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4 to win their 13th Grand Slam doubles title together, surpassing the likes of John Newcombe and Tony Roche.

“As far as records, there’s not much [left] but we’re competitors, we hate to lose and want to finish No.1 and that’s just the way we are,” Bob said. “Probably try to shoot for 100 [titles] and cut it,” added Mike jokingly. “Has anyone ended up on a round number like that?”

Respect to
Darren Cahill.
The Australian commentator made a bet with Andy Murray that if the Scot reached the final in Melbourne, he would commentate on the women’s singles final wearing a kilt. And so he did.

Junior successes
Nick Kyrgios gave the Australians boon for the future with a 7-6(4), 6-3 win to claim the boys’ singles title over fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, the unseeded South Australian who played despite discovering on Friday that he had a stress fracture on the left side of his back. Kyrgios is the fourth Australian to win the boys’ title in the last seven years.

In the girls’ singles, third seed Ana Konjuh of Croatia triumphed over Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-4 to win her first junior Grand Slam title, and will gain the ITF junior No.1 world ranking as a result.

They said it

“Because I’m stupid”
Li Na on why she took two tumbles during the women’s singles final

Coming up on Sunday

Rod Laver Arena

Mixed doubles final
4pm Jarmila Gajdosova & Mathew Ebden v Lucie Hradecka & Frantisek Cermak

Men’s singles final
7.30 pm Novak Djokovic [1] v Andy Murray [3]


For all the reports and results from Melbourne Park, visit the Official Australian Open website


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