Hampered by both leg and hamstring injuries for much of this season, Victoria Azarenka showed this week that she is healthy once more. Today, she defeated an obviously tired Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Bank of the West Classic.
Sharapova looked good in the first set, though she had a hard time getting a good second serve in. The pair traded fierce groundstrokes, and produced five breaks of serve. It looked as though the final could last a long time, but in the second set, it quickly became evident that Sharapova was running out of energy. She was broken three times by Azarenka, though there were moments when the 5th seed found her best serve and gave hope to fans that she might rally. It was Azarenka, though, who found inspiring serves when she most needed them.
Azarenka, playing with a wild card and seeded 8th, had a most impressive run in Stanford, defeating both defending champion Marion Bartoli and 1st seed Sam Stosur. She celebrated her 21st birthday yesterday, and after her win today, told ESPN "I can have cake now."