The 2012 Australian Open women's singles final will see Russian Maria Sharapova go up against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Not only are they playing for the championship; they both are in contention to gain the number one ranking. The number four-ranked Sharapova defeated second-ranked Petra Kvitova, who she lost to in the 2011 Wimbledon finals, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. The third-ranked Azarenka also survived against defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters who almost had a solid comeback in the second set, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
"I felt like my hand is about 200 kilograms and my body is about 1,000 kilograms. Everything is shaking but that feeling when you finally win is such a relief. I can't believe it's over—I just want to cry," said Azarenka of her match against Clijsters.
Women's tennis rankings will have a change up after this tournament concludes, as top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark is set to drop from the top spot to fourth, and Clijsters. Azarenka looks to be the first-ever Grand Slam title winner from Belarus, and Sharapova will get another shot at breaking her four-year run without a Grand Slam title.
"Before, I think you all thought I was a mental case, but I was just young and emotional," said Azarenka. "But I'm really glad the way I fought. That's the thing I'm most proud of, I fought for every ball."
“Even though Victoria hasn’t really been in that stage (the final) of a Grand Slam before, she’s certainly won big titles and she has the experience,” Sharapova said. “This is a stage she’s wanted to be at for a long time, so I do expect her to play really good tennis.”