Sunday afternoon at 2pm saw top seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka take to court to challenge 5th seeded Aussie wildcard Sam Stosur for the Southern California Open title. Going into the final, Azarenka led the head to head stat 8-0 between 2008 and this year, including one win on clay and the rest on hard courts – with the last two matches going the distance. With her close semi final win over Ana Ivanovic, the Belarusian will end this week back at the number 2 spot after leapfrogging Maria Sharapova on the WTA rankings list. “Sam has one of the best serves there is – she puts this great spin on it and is never afraid to take chances. She’s a great shotmaker as well,“ said Azarenka of her final opponent. “She’s probably the best returner in the game,” was Stosur’s analysis of the Belarusian.
Not only did Stosur take out 2nd seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarters, but she got the better of top seed Azarenka too, for her fourth WTA singles title. The final score was 6-2 6-3 in an hour and twenty three minutes. The major stat contributing to Azarenka’s demise was break point conversions – she managed just one out of twelve, while Stosur’s was four out of five. The Aussie also had better numbers on the winner/error ratio, with her fearsome forehand and serve finding the lines time and again, while the Belarusian struggled.