Azarenka, ranked No. 3 in the world, edged by Li 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 for her ninth WTA title and fourth since last April. She's won six of her last eight finals appearances since August 2010. Li, who holds the No. 5 ranking, lost in her attempt to repeat as the Sydney champion.
Azarenka had five service breaks, although she didn't have a break opportunity in the second set. Li lost only six points in four service games in that set.
But Azarenka won 59 percent of the points receiving serve in getting three first-set breaks and 52 percent when a pair of third-set breaks earned her the title.
The first-place check for $107,000 pushed Azarenka over the $9 million mark in career earnings. Li took home $57,000 as the runner-up.