Women’s game in great shape now, insists new standard bearer Azarenka

NEWLY-CROWNED world No1 Victoria Azarenka believes her ascension to the ranks of grand slam winners is a sign that the women’s game is in rude health.

Azarenka blitzed fourth seed Maria Sharapova in Saturday’s Australian Open final to become the fifth different winner in as many major tournaments.

The Belarussian is also the fourth successive first-time grand slam winner, following Sam Stosur at the US Open, Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon and Li Na at Roland Garros. And with traditional heavyweights Sharapova, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams in contention again Azarenka believes fans will reap the rewards.

“Maria is playing really well right now, Serena is back, Kim – I think it’s great for women’s tennis,” she said.

“With Li Na also winning a grand slam, I think it’s great competition and we can really look forward. Women’s tennis is at a great level right now.”