Melbourne, Jan.28 (ANI): Belarussian Victoria Azarenka lifted the Australian Open women's crown by thrashing Russian Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-3 6-0 at the Melbourne Park here on Saturday
By winning, Azarenka not only became a Grand Slam champion for the first time, but also achieved the World Number One ranking.
The 22-year-old overcame early jitters to win the battle of the tennis scream queens in just one hour and 22 minutes.
Apart from securing the top ranking and the record 2.17 million dollar winner's cheque, Azarenka is also the first person from Belarus to be crowned a grand slam singles champion.
Fighting back tears, she her coach, support team, parents and particularly her grandmother after raising the Daphne Ackhurst Memorial Cup.
"Thank you all of you for believing in me and because of you, now I can finally raise this trophy," Azarenka said.
Sharapova said: "The first congratulations goes to Victoria. It is an honour to play against you. You've earned this title, you've worked so hard over the years and it's a real honour to have your name on that trophy. Congratulations and cherish it for as long as you can."
Sharapova said that she just delighted to be back as a Grand Slam force.
"It's been a few years since I've been on this stage," said the 2008 Open champion and 2007 runner-up.
"I've had the great moments here, I've had the tough losses and this is another one.But there's no doubt that I'll be back," she said. (ANI)
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