Victoria Azarenka will attempt to become the first woman since Serena Williams to win consecutive Australian Open titles when she takes on Li Na in what should be an enthralling 2013 Australian Open final.
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Two of the cleanest ball strikers on the WTA tour face off for the right to earn their second career Grand Slam titles.
Azarenka is the reigning Australian Open champion, while Na possesses a French Open title next to her name.
On form, this match-up really is a toss of the coin job between two players who have literally raced their way through to the final.
Na has not dropped a set en route to the Australian Open final and probably deserves favouritism following her dominant 6-2, 6-2 victory over Maria Sharapova in the semi-final.
Azarenka meanwhile has only dropped one set in the tournament thus far, but her performance in the semi-final against Sloane Stephens caused a lot of controversy.
Having failed to serve for the match in the second set, Azarenka called for an injury timeout citing breathing difficulties.
After a ten minute break, Azarenka came back out on court and broke Stephens’ serve to eventually win the match in straight sets.
Critics however believe Azarenka used the injury timeout as a direct ploy to re-gather her thoughts after ‘choking’ on serve.
Whatever the reasons behind the incident, it will be interesting to see how Azarenka responds on court against Na in the final.
Both Azarenka and Na are evenly matched and possess very similar game styles so this final really should go the distance.
Although Azarenka has won her past four matches against Na, most of those wins have been tight affairs so we should see a more competitive final then last year’s Australian Open decider.
Azarenka and Na are both brilliant returners of serve and possess arguably the most dominant backhand shots on the WTA tour.
With both players known for playing aggressive tennis, the result of tonight’s final will largely hinge on which player is able to find their range first.
Although Azarenka has certainly impressed in her run to the final, Na’s victories over strong favourites Agnieszka Radwańska and Sharapova should give her the confidence necessary to beat the world no. 1 and win the 2013 Australian Open title.
Na in three sets.