|Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts during the women's singles semifinal against Marion Bartoli of France at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Oct. 6, 2012. Victoria Azarenka won 2-0. (Xinhua/Kong Hui)
BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka reached the China Open final by seeing off Marion Bartoli of France 6-4 6-2 and will face World No.2 Maria Sharapova in Sunday's final.
Trying to get the China Open title for the first time, Azarenka needed one hour and 34 minutes to revenge on Bartoli, who stopped Azarenka's 26-0 win streak in straight set in Miami.
"I did the best I could to raise my level to play well, I am excited about that. I am really happy to play in the final tomorrow," Azarenka said.
Talking about the final with Sharapova, who ousted local favorite Li Na 6-4 6-0 in another semifinal, Azarenka thought it will be a competitive battle.
"Maria is an excellent player and a huge fighter. It is a privilege to meet somebody like her in the final," said Azarenka.
It will be the fifth clash between the top 2 ranked women in WTA this season. Azarenka has won three of these meetings including the final of the Australian Open and the semi-final at the U.S. Open.
"I feel like tomorrow's match is different, because the momentum changes every time when we against each other," added Azarenka.
Although Azarenka leads the head-to-head series against Bartoli 8-3 before the match, the showcase matchup was closer than the statistics indicated, especially in the first set.
Azarenka dropped her serve in the opening game, but the reigning world No.1 broke back in the next game at love. After 4-4, Azarenka held the serve to lead by 5-4 and Bartoli made a fatal double fault in the tenth game to concede the first set.
The 23-years-old Belarusian dominated the second set with four breaks, and the 10th ranked French veteran only showed a little resistance in the third and seventh game.
"Vika is probably the best returner in the game. And it was not like I was serving badly at this time. It was just her returning so well. I couldn't win the points," said Bartoli.