The match had everything. A hero, a villain, fireworks, an injury, and a near-concussion. In the end it was Victoria Azarenka successfully defending her Australian Open title by beating crowd-favorite Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to capture her second Slam title. The win means Azarenka will retain her No. 1 ranking when the new WTA rankings come out on Monday.
It wasn’t a great match in terms of the tennis but it certainly did not lack in drama. After Li took the first set she rolled her left ankle in the second set but soldiered on. Azarenka forced a third set which was interrupted for 10 minutes for a fireworks display in honor of Australia Day. On the first point back Li tripped over her ankle again and hit her head hard against the court, again requiring medical attention. Through it all Azarenka kept her cool, a difficult task in light of amount of anti-Vika sentiment that swelled over the last 48 hours.
I think I can safely say this: I have never and will never see another Slam final as out of this world crazy as this one.
Game-by-game analysis of this dramatic rollercoaster of a match after the jump.