Out of the top 20 to start 2016, Victoria Azarenka has quickly silenced all doubters with her completion of the “Sunshine Double.” After beating Serena Williams to win Indian Wells, she rolled past Svetlana Kuznetsova to the tune of 6-3, 6-2, on Sunday afternoon to win her third title in Miami.
Her performance in the final wasn’t quite as impressive as others earlier in the tournament (as always, her semifinal meeting with Angie Kerber brought out the best in both players), but that something less than her best was enough to cruise past a dangerous player in Kuznetsova is its own kind of dominance.
Vika didn’t drop a set all tournament to claim her third trophy of the season (the other being Brisbane), joining Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters in winning Indian Wells and Miami in the same season.
Now firmly back in the top five and leading the year-to-date standings, there’s no questions marks left for Azarenka other than getting back to contending for Grand Slams. The only hiccup in her season was a semi-shocking loss to Kerber in Australia, and while she’ll be a top contender for the French Open, she’s been dramatically better in her career on hardcourt than clay or grass.
That won’t concern someone as confident as Vika though. As she told the press regarding clay season, “I’ve always [loved] proving people wrong.”