Azarenka, Sharapova meet again in final

Oct. 6, 2012 at 7:51 AM
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BEIJING, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and world No. 2 Maria Sharapova both won in straight sets Saturday and will meet in the finals of the China Open.

Sunday's final will mark the fourth time this year and sixth time overall that Azarenka and Sharapova played for a WTA tournament title. Azarenka won the first two such meetings in 2012 but Sharapova took the most recent.

Sharapova earned her spot in the finals with a 6-4, 6-0 decision over seventh-seeded Li Na. After the close first set, Sharapova lost only nine points in taking the second set.

Azarenka defeated ninth-seeded Mario Bartoli 6-4, 6-2 behind six breaks in nine receiving games. Azarenka won 58 percent of the points serving and 59 percent when receiving serve.

Azarenka is 6-4 lifetime versus Sharapova. The most recent meeting, won by Azarenka in three sets, was in the U.S. Open semifinals. Before that they had a string of championship match appearances in 2012 with Azarenka taking the Australian Open and a tournament in California before Sharapova won in Germany.

Azarenka is 12-11 in WTA title matches. However, she's lost in her last three finals, including at the U.S. Open. Sharapova's finals record is 27-17, with three wins this year.

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