It wasn’t an epic battle, but Victoria Azarenka held tough against an injured Serena Williams today to win the Sony Ericsson Open, 6-3, 6-1. It’s the 19-year old’s first “Tier 1” title and her third WTA singles title, all of which she won this year. Victoria could be called “Baby Maria” for her aggressive game style, fierce determination and high-decibel grunts. And she’s well on her way to becoming the next big WTA star.
Even Serena Williams was impressed:
“I think she’s really, really improved. I actually look forward to playing her again so I can play a little better and obviously do better. But I think she obviously has potential and she’s going to be a really good player.”
Williams even gave Azarenka the ultimate compliment:
“She’s an all round good player. It actually makes me feel good, because it makes me want to do better and work harder.”
A joyous Azarenka charmed everyone (including me), when she jumped and whooped after match point and told the crowd during the trophy presentation that it was an honor to play against someone of Serena Williams’s caliber. And the best thing about this girl is that she’s ready for more:
Q. You’re No. 8 now. Where do you go from there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Hopefully to No. 7 and further.
Q. What Grand Slam would you love to win the most?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I would love to win any, actually. But my favorite’s always been US Open and Australian Open.
Q. Can you wrap your mind around $600,000 (prize money)?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I can spend it in one day.
Obviously Victoria has expensive tastes! If that isn’t a motivation, I don’t know what is. Let’s hope her love of fancy cars, jewelry and clothes keeps her in top form – and keeps Serena Williams on her toes!
Serena Williams photo: AP at Eurosport
Victoria Azarenka photo: AFP at Yahoo Sports