Azarenka beats Sharapova, wins Miami title

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:19 PM ET

Miami, FL - Eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus handled 16th-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-4, to win the $4.5 million Sony Ericsson Open.

Azarenka recorded eight service breaks, taking full advantage of a sluggish Sharapova, who committed six double faults.

After cruising through the opening set, Azarenka won the first four games in the second set before Sharapova earned a break. The three-time Grand Slam winner finally held serve and gained another break in the seventh game.

Sharapova saved two match points with a break to make it 5-4, but Azarenka capitalized on her third championship point to secure her second Miami title in three years and collect $700,000.

Azarenka evened her record in 12 career WTA finals, while Sharapova, who became a three-time runner-up at this event, fell to 22-12 in championship matches. Sharapova lost the Miami final to Kim Clijsters in 2005 and Svetlana Kuznetsova the following year.


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