There was high drama on Wednesday as Victoria Azarenka took on Angelique Kerber in the second match at the end of the year TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championship in Istanbul, in her first match in the Red Group which also includes Serena Williams and Na Li. This was an amazing and very hard fought match, with Kerber showing her excellent court craft and racquet skills, together with some incredible shots which no coach could ever teach. Azarenka tried hard to keep her emotions under control, as the German had her running from one corner of the baseline to the other, but erupted on too many occasions and whacked her racquet on the court in frustration at her forced (and unforced) errors. Eventually, Azarenka managed to prevail in three hard fought sets 6-7 (11) 7-6 (2) 6-4.
Kerber got the first break in the first set to lead 2-1, but Azarenka broke back to 3-3 and from then games went with serve to a tie break, which Azarenka led 6-2, but the tenacious German hung in and saved four set points to level at 6-6. Advantage swung from one player to the other until Kerber finally won the breaker 13-11. The second set saw Azarenka got 2-0 up before Kerber held and then games went with serve until she get the break through to level at 4-4. The ninth game lasted over 13 minutes and Kerber again managed to break Azarenka, to lead 5-4, but Azarenka came back at her to level and, two games later, take the set to another tie breaker, which this set Azarenka took 7-2. The third set was just as close and exciting, as once again Azarenka ran up a 2-0 lead, only to be pegged back to 3-3, but she managed to break again for 5-3, but Kerber held her serve for 4-5 before the Belarusian served out the decider at 6-4 in three hours and six minutes, to win her 68th match of 2012. The close to 13,500 spectators were on their feet between points during most of this match, which was one of the best ever and testimony that the eight top players in the world are competing for this title.