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By Akshay Kohli
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Eying her fifth title of the season, World No.1 Victoria Azarenka takes centre stage when she faces World No.43 Alize Cornet in the opening round of the China Open. Azarenka withdrew from the Toray Pan Pacific Open last week after falling sick in the quarter-finals.
Azarenka has had a great run in 2012 and that includes lifting the Australian Open title along with three others. She comes into this match after playing an electrifying final at the US Open where she lost to Serena Williams in a three set marathon. Having already qualified for the season ending finale, Azarenka would be focusing on finishing this year retaining the World No.1 spot. She has accumulated a win-loss record of 56-8 so far this season.
Her opponent, Cornet has had a decent year so far, with a win-loss record of 41-25, the Frenchwoman has won a title this year and would be hoping to crack the Top-30 by the end of 2012. With a great backhand and some good ground strokes, this talented player has the ability to test the players ranked higher than her.
This will be the first meeting between the two with Azarenka coming in as the favorite.
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