INDIAN WELLS. — Victoria Azarenka stunned world number one Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to capture her second Indian Wells tennis crown and a 19th career singles title.
Azarenka blasted five aces while Williams was undone by 33 unforced errors and five double faults in the 88-minute championship of the joint WTA and ATP Tour hardcourt event.
“Definitely not the game plan,” Williams said. “I think I probably was trying to hit through nerves.
“I was talking to Patrick (Mouratoglou, her coach) and he said he’s never seen me play that flat.”
Azarenka, a former world number one now ranked 15th after battling injuries, has been a thorn in the side of Williams over the years and she became the first player to deny the 34-year-old Williams a trophy on four occasions.
Heading into the contest Azarenka and Serena’s sister, Venus, were the only players to have beaten Williams three times in finals. The 13th seeded Azarenka also thwarted Williams’ bid to become the first three-time winner of the Indian Wells women’s title. Azarenka got two early breaks at the beginning of both sets against Williams before closing out the match in front of a crowd of about 15 000 on the main stadium court when Williams sailed yet another forehand long.
Azarenka held serve in the first set to take a 2-0 lead that the erratic American couldn’t dent.
Williams even got caught standing still and admiring a shot at game point in the eighth game, allowing Azarenka to hit a slow forehand winner into the open court. — AFP.