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The World No.1 had started the year brilliantly by winning her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open. By doing that, she became the first-ever player to jump from World No.3 to World No.1 directly. She continued to play like a champion in the following months as she won the WTA title at Doha and then at Indian Wells too. She did however, lose in the quarterfinal of the Miami Sony Ericsson Open to Marion Bartoli. She then lost to arch-rival Maria Sharapova in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Even in the first round here in Madrid, she put in a sluggish display before getting past Andrea Hlavackova. She did however, put in a much improved performance against Ana Ivanovic in the second round beating her in straight sets. Her win/loss record now stands at 32/2.
After having a splendid year in 2011, where she rose to No.5 in the world, the Chinese No.1 has had a disappointing start to the year. She started the year on a high and was runner up only to her ever-rising opponent here today, in Sydney. That was however, brought to a halt soon and in the Australian Open, she bowed down to Kim Clijsters in the fourth round. In February, the former Grand Slam winner suffered an injury on her lower back. She made it to the quarterfinals of both Indian Wells and Miami Sony Ericsson Open. As is evident, the quarterfinal stage seems to be a roadblock for the Chinese and would be looking to barge through it. She beat German star Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the previous round to cap an impressive display. Her win-loss record is at 17-6 this year.
Their only meeting this year has been won by the Belarusian. But the thing to note is that, Li Na leads Azarenka by 4 matches to 3 overall. The Chinese has also defeated the World No.1 at the quarterfinal stages of the French Open and the Australian Open previously.
TennisEarth picks a hard fought victory for the World No.1.
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