Azarenka demolishes Kuznetsova for third Miami Open title

Sat Apr 2, 2016 3:38pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka kept up a banner year when she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-2 to win the Miami Open in Florida on Saturday.

Azarenka punished her Russian opponent's weak serve to wrap up the final in 80 minutes in relentless humidity under a searing sun in the early afternoon encounter on the Key Biscayne hardcourt.

The 13th seed finished off Kuznetsova with a powerful backhand groundstroke for the 20th title of her career, and her third of the year, after winning previously in Indian Wells and Brisbane.

It is the third Miami title for the 26-year-old from Belarus and the first time she has won the same tournament more than twice.

She is also the first woman to win the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments back-to-back since Kim Clijsters in 2005.

"This just gives me even more inspiration and motivation to keep working harder," Azarenka said in a courtside interview.

"I'm very happy that all the work that I've been putting in is paying off. It's such a great opportunity to play the whole month so consistent."

Azarenka seems to be returning to the form that took her to the top of the world rankings four years ago, before she was sidetracked by injury and personal problems.

She beat Serena Williams in the final at Indian Wells two weeks ago, and on Saturday never gave Kuznetsova a chance.   Continued...

 
Victoria Azarenka reacts after winning a point against Svetlana Kuznetsova (not pictured) during the women's singles final of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Azarenka won 6-3, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports