Victoria Azarenka has beaten Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1 in the WTA Brisbane International final on Saturday at the Queensland Tennis Centre to claim her first title in 2016. A consistent performance from the Belurussian, aided by an inconsistent error prone showing from the German led to Azarenka’s victory. It was a high quality, tight and competitive opening to the match as in previous encounters between the two, which have been tit-for-tat and it looked as though that would be the case here.
After six games, the two were tied at 3-3, with both players making good use of the court and playing some fantastic shots to break the service of the other. Kerber was full of belief, but in the seventh game it all seemed to crumble for her as Azarenka went on to dominate the next three games, winning the set 6-3, courtesy of a double fault from the fourth-seeded German. At the end of the first set, Kerber’s coach, Torben Beltz rushed down from the stands to motivate the player
who seemed to have lost the belief she had started the match with.
It was not an easy start to the second set for the German, facing an Azarenka serve, an area which the Belurussian has controlled well during the tournament. Despite the odds being against her, Kerber went ahead 40-30 in the first game before a series of errors caused her to lose the advantage and then the game. Azarenka went on to scrape the next two games but would lose the fourth game after a good fight back from Kerber, ending her opponent’s six game winning streak.
At 3-1, Kerber looked a bit heavy-limbed but Azarenka continued to push on, winning the fifth game after another unforced error from her opponent moved her increasingly closer to the title. Although the Belurussian gave very little away, the crowd continued to roar for Kerber, hoping to see more of
what had been a terrific display of tennis despite the score board indicating a dominant display by Azarenka. A series of rallies followed in the last two games but Kerber struggled to keep up with Azarenka who continued to move around well across the court, while her opponent scrambled.
In the last game, Azarenka had an injury scare after losing her footing while attempting to play
a shot but soon showed that she was okay as she kept Kerber on the baseline. After going up 40-love, Kerber won a point back to make it 40-15 but was the victim of a brilliant display of tennis as Azarenka placed a precise forehand out of the German’s reach to win the game, the set and the championship.