Sharapova defeats Azarenka to win Stuttgart WTA title

Berlin: Maria Sharapova defeated World No.1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 to win the Stuttgart WTA title for her first crown of the year.

Sharapova lost the finals of the Australian Open and Indian Wells this year to Azarenka, and the Russian had never beaten her rival from Belarus in four previous encounters in a final.

"I am really pleased to win such a tough tournament, against such tough opponents. Victoria could not perform at her best because of her injury," Sharapova was quoted as saying by Xinhua after Sunday's victory.

Azarenka, who fell to 29-2 this year but will keep the No.1 spot, had her right wrist taped after the first set. "I am disappointed to lose, but still I had a good week," she said. (IANS)