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Azarenka crushes Sharapova in final

updated 10:08 AM EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World number one Victoria Azarenka wins the Indian Wells women's title
  • Azarenka defeats world No.2 Maria Sharapova in straight sets in California
  • The 22-year-old Azarenka is unbeaten in 23 matches since the start of 2012

(CNN) -- World number one Victoria Azarenka has taken her unbeaten run to 23 matches in 2012 after outplaying second seed Maria Sharapova in the women's final at Indian Wells on Sunday.

The 22-year-old from Belarus took just 86 minutes to thrash Sharapova 6-2 6-3, six weeks after also defeating the Russian in straight sets to win her first grand slam title at the Australian Open.

It was the first time in four years that the top two players in the world had reached the final of a WTA Tour event.

And Azarenka's comprehensive victory means she remains on course to pass Martina Hingis' record of 37 unbeaten matches from the start of the season in 1997.

I have just been trying to be consistent and professional every day
Victoria Azarenka

"I never dreamed this would happen to me," Azarenka told the official WTA Tour website after winning her fourth title of the year.

"Last year was a learning experience for me. Every loss I analyzed and step by step just built on everything, just daily hard work.

"I had a lot of tough losses last year and so now I'm really trying to turn it around in my own favor.

"I have just been trying to be consistent and professional every day," she added.

Azarenka has now won four titles this year; Sydney, Melbourne, Doha and Indian Wells and takes her career singles tally to 12 in just over three years.

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