BEIJING, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka topped second-ranked Maria Sharapova in a final for this third time this year in taking Sunday's China Open championship match.
Azarenka posted a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Sharapova for her fifth overall title of 2012 while improving to 3-1 this year in championship matches head-to-head with Sharapova. She also beat Sharapova in the finals of this year's Australian Open and at Indian Wells, Calif. Sharapova came out ahead at a final in Germany, however.
Azarenka won 54 percent of the points off Sharapova's serve Sunday and ended up with five breaks. Sharapova had a first-set break against Azarenka but wasn't able to finish off any of her five break chances in the second set as she battled to even the match
The China Open title was the 13th of Azarenka's career. Ten of those have come since August 2010. Sharapova fell to 27-18 in tournament finals. Sunday marked her eighth championship appearance of 2012. She's 3-5 in those matches.
The win was worth $848,000 to Azarenka, who is nearing $16 million in career winnings. Sharapova, after picking up $424,000 Sunday, has won more than $22 million in her career. She passed Steffi Graf for fifth-most all time and is about $100,000 short of Lindsay Davenport's fourth-place total.