Istanbul: Victoria Azarenka had to draw on all her reserves by saving two match points in a heroic three-hour six-minute tussle with Angelique Kerber in the WTA Championships.
The top-seeded Belarussian beat the German revelation 6-7 (11/13), 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 in an encounter full of magnificent rallies and surprises. Her win leaves Azarenka needing just one more win to guarantee her finishing the year as world number one.
Azarenka saved both match points by following up sound serving with bold and courageous driving. That helped make up for the five set points that Kerber had enterprisingly denied the top seed in the first set tie-break.