Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka claimed her first Grand Slam title and with it the number one ranking as she saw off Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final.

The twenty one year old was playing in her first Grand Slam final, after being Kim Clijsters in the final four, and after a nervy start she settled into the match.

Both Azarenka and Sharapova could have claimed the number one spot with a victory and it was the Russian and former Wimbledon who made the better start.

Sharapova broke in Azarenka’s first service game to quickly open up a 2-0 lead. But she settled into the match and fought back from 0-30 down in her second service game to get on the board.

With that first game under her belt and the nerves settled Azarenka immediately broke the Sharapova serve, which has been a problem for the Russian in this tournament, to level the opening set at 2-2.

The pair both held onto their next service games for 3-3 and from that point on it was one way traffic as Azarenka totally dominated.

And while Sharapova did have her break point chances, particularly as Azarenka served for the set, she was unable to convert any of her chances.

After just eighty two minutes Azarenka wrapped up a 6-3 6-0 victory.

She took the next three games of the opening set to take it 6-3 before wrapping up the second without dropping a single game.

Speaking on court as the champion Azarenka said: "First I want to congratulate Maria. Thank you for such kind words. You had a great two weeks and did really well, and I'm sure there will be many more finals we'll perform in.

"I want to thank my team - you guys have been supporting me for so long, believing in me and making me realize I can believe in myself and can finally raise this trophy. I want to thank my parents, my friends, my boyfriend and my grandmother - the person who inspires me most in my life.

"It was an amazing month in Australia. It's a dream come true."

Azarenka now places Caroline Wozniacki at the top of the ranking after the Dane crashed out of the tournament early.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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