Azarenka takes over as world No. 1

Former player Martina Hingis (L) smiles as Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (R) poses with the trophy following her victory over Maria Sharapova of Russia in their women's singles final on day 13 at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2012. Azarenka won the championship 6-3 (credit: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)
Victoria Azarenka has replaced Caroline Wozniacki as the world No. 1

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Victoria Azarenka has gotten her 2012 season underway with some sensational performances, and title wins at the Sydney International and the Australian Open have enabled her to leapfrog Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova and top the rankings.

The Belarusian was on top of her game on Saturday in Melbourne, clinching a straight set win over Maria Sharapova in the final. She produced some devastating groundstrokes, and the pressure that she heaped onto the Russian after going 0-2 down in the first led to a major switch in momentum.

When asked about what it meant to her to be the world No. 1, Azarenka remarked, “Well, it's a dream come true, you know. I have been dreaming and working so hard to win the Grand Slam, and being No. 1 is pretty good bonus, you know, for that.”

Many are speculating that Azarenka and Kvitova’s rivalry could define the next few years of top level WTA tennis. “I think it's a great thing for women's tennis. We have good rivalry, I would say, you know. With Petra we had amazing matches,” said Azarenka when asked about this. “Unfortunately I haven't beat her, but I'm really looking forward to that,” she added.

She was keen not to write off the rest of the competition, which seems wise given some of the players that she’ll need to get the better of to achieve further slam successes. “With Maria playing really well now, you know, Serena [Williams] is back, Kim [Clijsters], I think it's great for the women's tennis. “With Li Na winning the Grand Slam, Sam Stosur winning Grand Slam, I think it's a great competition, and we can really look forward for women's game. It's at a great level right now.”

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Azarenka takes over as world No. 1

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