| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

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.”