Azarenka ends time at the top on a high
updated 3:09 PM EST, Sun February 17, 2013
Victoria Azarenka is overcome with emotion after defeating Serena Williams at the final of the Qatar Open.
- Victoria Azarenka saw off Serena Williams 7-6 2-6 6-3 to win the Qatar Open
- Williams will replace Azarenka as the new World No.1 Monday
- Williams, 31, is the oldest women to hold top spot in the history of women's tennis
- Azarenka has successfully defended both Australian Open and Qatar Open titles
(CNN) -- Victoria Azarenka might be giving up her spot as World No.1 but the Belarusian showed successor Serena Williams that she's ready to fight to get it back.
Azarenka avenged the loss of top spot to Williams by defeating the U.S. star 7-6 2-6 6-3 in the final of the Qatar Open in Doha Sunday.
Williams, 31, will become the oldest woman to ever hold the No.1 ranking in the history of the game when she takes over Monday.
But she failed to follow up her impressive semifinal win over Maria Sharapova following an error strewn performance.
Instead, Azarenka, who successfully defended her Australian Open title last month, ended a nine-match losing streak against Williams to record just her second win in 13 attempts over her opponent.
How do you beat Serena Williams?
Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'
Sloane Stephens: The new talk of tennis
Williams eyes Azarenka final
Leading 5-2 in the first set, the outgoing World No.1 allowed Williams back into the game with the American racing into a 6-5 lead.
Williams had set point but failed to take advantage and Azarenka ensured her opponent paid the penalty by taking the opener on a tie-break.
Williams hit back in the second, taking it 6-2, but she was unable to sustain her form and faltered in the third and decisive set.
"I can't say that I'm depressed like I am whenever I lose.," Williams told reporters. "I'm definitely not happy, but I'm number one."
"It was such a long journey, and after winning Wimbledon and the US Open and the (season-ending) Championships, I thought, I just don't think I can win anymore. I don't know what it takes to be number one.
"It was a good match overall. Victoria played really well, and did a great job."
Serena back on top of the world
Azarenka believes that her recovery from losing a one-sided second set was key to her success.
She told reporters: "I just wanted to fight and give it my best, and give myself every opportunity.
"I started at love-30 down and it was 'you have to keep it together and pull it around'. Serena was on a roll.
"I knew she would bring her A game, and I was really glad I could stay tough and focused."
Azarenka, who went 26-0 before losing at the quarterfinals in Miami last year, is now 14-0 in 2013.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:29 AM EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Mon April 22, 2013
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
updated 5:15 PM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous sisters.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue March 26, 2013
Open Court meets Poland's world No. 4 Agniezska Radwanska, who's making waves on the women's tennis scene.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
updated 9:44 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Thu March 21, 2013
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Mon March 11, 2013
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
updated 11:08 AM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?
updated 11:21 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Open Court's Pat Cash meets American No. 1 John Isner, who experts claim has the potential to win a grand slam.
updated 4:17 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
CNN's Pat Cash looks at who the next U.S. grand slam champion might be.
updated 10:45 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
CNN's Patrick Snell looks at how the famous couple is helping groom the next generation of tennis stars.
updated 5:09 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
With his sights set on the top, Ryan Harrison is the youngest player to win a professional match in 20 years.
updated 11:12 AM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
He's "Mac the Mouth" both on and off the court -- one of the most controversial and iconic players in tennis history, and he's still talking up a storm.
updated 6:31 AM EST, Tue January 29, 2013
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have transformed their careers since discovering a diet secret that is battling for mainstream acceptance.
updated 10:00 AM EST, Mon January 28, 2013
Novak Djokovic knew he was going to be a tennis star from an early age when growing up in war-torn Belgrade.
updated 8:25 AM EST, Thu January 17, 2013
Nine women, a bold proposal and a $1 bill. That was what it took for women's tennis to begin a 40-year journey of self-empowerment.