Two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won the Miami Open, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-3, 6-2.
The error-filled final here on Saturday opened with eight breaks in the first nine games. Azarenka, seeded 13th, turned out to be the steadier side, leaving Russian Kuznetsova, seeded 15th, doing most of the running, reports Xinhua news agency.
Kuznetsova, ousting 21-time Grand Slam champion and eight-time Miami champion Serena Williams on her way to the final, held serve only twice and hit just eight winners to 23 for Azarenka.
The in-form Belarusian, who has only lost one match all year, broke in Kuznetsova’s opening service game and quickly held for a 2-0 lead. That lone hold of serve would turn out to be vital, as Azarenka was able to weather the seven consecutive breaks that followed and still hang on to the lead.
In the second set, Azarenka’s powerful game came together as she wore down Kuznetsova from the baseline, running the Russian all over the court. Azarenka kept up the intensity throughout the match, hitting 23 winners to Kuznetsova’s 8 while Kuznetsova struck 22 unforced errors to her opponent’s 18.
“I’d like to congratulate Victoria for doing such a good job this year and in these four weeks,” Kuznetsova said after the match.