11 Jan 2009

Azarenka wins Brisbane International

6:54 am on 11 January 2009

The Belarussian tennis player Victoria Azarenka has defeated Marion Bartoli 6-3 6-1 in the women's final at the Brisbane International to capture her first WTA singles title.

Bartoli, a former Wimbledon finalist, had defied the odds just by reaching the final after being struck down by illness for most of last year but was unable to match her younger opponent, the second seed.

Her loss completed a disappointing day for the French in Brisbane after Spanish Davis Cup hero Fernando Verdasco and Czech Radek Stepanek won their semi-finals against French opponents.

Third-seed Verdasco beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2 6-1 before eighth-seed Stepanek came from behind to beat Richard Gasquet 2-6 6-2 6-4.