Tennis News Wire -
BNP Paribas Open
Sunday Men's Summary
Singles - Final: (1) Victoria Azarenka def. (2) Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-3
Some writers had been calling this the "dream final." The dream was a nightmare, at least when Maria Sharapova was serving. She won only 46% of points on first serve, 31% on second. Little wonder she was broken six times; of her five games, two came on breaks. She won not quite 40% of the points. It was a blowout.
Not that it really made all that much difference; Victoria Azarenka was sure to be #1 after this, and Sharapova #2. But it does add to Azarenka's lead -- she now has almost a 2000 point margin over Sharapova, meaning that she should be safe after Miami, and indeed probably until Roland Garros. What a year! You can quibble about her winning streak, since she pulled out of Dubai, but her record this year in events she has actually started is 23-0. She has won Sydney, the Australian Open, Doha, and Indian Wells -- all hardcourt events, but covering every tier top players are expected to play: Premier 700, Slam, Premier Five, and now Premier Mandatory. It's hard to imagine where it will stop.
Maria Sharapova has yet to win a title this year, and has twice lost to Azarenka -- but she is still 12-3 in 2012. She probably won't be a threat to #1 -- Petra Kvitova still looks like the top player in that regard -- but if she can keep up this schedule, she should eventually win something. She just needs to sign up for some Azarenka-free events....
Doubles - Final: (1) Huber/Raymond def. (2) Mirza/Vesnina 6-2 6-3
This is getting almost Navratilova-esque. Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond now have four titles since the beginning of February: Paris, Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells. It's as if all competition has ceased for them. Huber of course remains #1, and Raymond is on course to become co-#1 soon.
Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina were last year's champions, but they obviously weren't ready for the buzz saw they ran into. They lose some points, but they should stay Top Ten. But they're Top Ten in a doubles universe that, these days, seems to contain only two players.