Azarenka downs Bartoli to win her first WTA title
BRISBANE: Victoria Azarenka claimed her first title on the WTA tour when she downed France''s Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the Brisbane International here Saturday.
The 19-year-old, from Belarus, was too powerful for Bartoli, with the depth of her ground strokes forcing the Frenchwoman into a host of errors.
Azarenka''s power and consistency also put Bartoli''s usually reliable serve under enormous pressure and the strain began to show as the match progressed.
Bartoli, 24, served six double faults -- two of them to hand the first set to Azarenka -- while she made only 63 per cent of her first serves, winning just 45 per cent of them.
In contrast Azarenka didn''t serve a double fault for the entire match and was successful with 71 per cent of her first serves.
The Belarusian broke Bartoli three times in each set in a dominant display and while Bartoli had her chances to break back, she was only able to do so on two occasions.
Azarenka, the world number 15, was in good form throughout the week and went through the tournament without dropping a set.
Despite not having won previously on the tour, she showed no signs of nerves against her older opponent.
She wrapped up the first set in 41 minutes then raced to a 4-0 lead in the second.
Bartoli broke back to make it 4-1, but Azarenka was not to be denied and she broke back immediately then calmly served out the match.