Victoria Azarenka beats Serena Williams to defend Qatar Open crown

Azarenka can reclaim the top spot in Dubai next week if she reaches the final and Serena does not.

updated: February 18, 2013 10:35 IST
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Doha: Defending champion Victoria Azarenka beat Serena Williams 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open on Sunday, earning her 16th title and ending a 10-match losing streak against the American.

Azarenka will give up the No. 1 ranking to the second-ranked Serena on Monday but extended her current winning streak to 14 matches, which included her second Australian Open title. More importantly, she may have turned around what has been a one-sided rivalry against Serena. Azarenka had not beaten Serena since 2009 in Miami, and had a 1-11 record against the American going into Sunday's final.

"It feels incredible," Azarenka said. "You know, this tournament is really great. ... It had such a strong field going into it, and I'm really glad that in the end of the week I'm the one who's holding the trophy."

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