China Open 2012 Women’s Final features top two players – Azarenka, Sharapova

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The China Open 2012 Women’s Singles Final features the world’s top two players – Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. The blockbuster $4,828,050 tournament featured the world’s best players converging in Beijing in search of glory and after all was said and done – the field is reduced to the final two – Azarenka vs Sharapova.

First to move to the final was Sharapova who beat hometown favorite Li Na 6-4, 6-0.

“It was a really high quality first set with a few ups and downs, and obviously she had the lead in that set, but I came back,” Sharapova said.

“There were a few key moments to that set, and after I broke her in the last game, it was important to take that momentum into the second set and keep going,” she added.

Sharapova said that she’s never underestimated her opponent considering that Li Na, too, is a Grand Slam champion.

“Li Na has so much experience. She’s a Grand Slam champion. You know it’s going to be difficult, and she can play high level tennis and come back. So it’s important to keep a high level as long as you can when you play against her.”

Meanwhile, Azarenka zoomed her way to the final by beating all her opponents in straight sets and overcame a tougher challenge against France’s marion Bartoli in the semifinal to set up the final encounter against Sharapova.

With the win, Azarenka passes Angelique Kerber with the most number of wins this season at 61 matches (Kerber has 60).

Azarenka has a 6-4 head-to-head series led against Sharapova and their most recent meeting was at the US Open 2012 semifinals with Azarenka winning in three tight sets.

“We had an excellent match at the US Open. It was that stage of a tournament where both of us really wanted to win,” Azarenka said.

“Tomorrow is going to be another case like that, fighting for the title here. Anything can happen in a final. Maria’s an excellent player and a huge fighter as well – we all know that,” she added.

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