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Azarenka up for title defence

January 25, 2013 08:54:06 UK

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka is relishing the chance to retain her Australian Open title when she takes on Li Na in Saturday's final.

Azarenka, 1.66 to win the final and 2.62 to do so in straight sets, saw off Sloane Stephens to set up a showdown with the Chinese and now has a second Grand Slam success in her sights.

I've put myself into a position to give it the best shot there is.

Victoria Azarenka

She said: "I'm really happy to defend my title, that's my goal. Actually, not to defend, to win the tournament.

"I've put myself into a position to give it the best shot there is. I'm really looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, Li Na is hopeful of going one better than she did in 2011, when she lost in the Melbourne final to Kim Clijsters.

Having sealed a return to the final by seeing off Maria Sharapova, the Chinese told reporters: "Last time was more exciting, nervous, because it was my first time to be in the final.

"But I think this time more I am calmed down, more cool a little bit."

The 30-year-old also accepts that she faces a slightly different test against world number one Azarenka, adding: "I think Maria was even more powerful than Azarenka.

"She never gives up, so strong in the mind. Azarenka as well, but with a little bit less power. She likes to put the ball corner to corner and make the opponent run for the whole court."

Li, the 2011 French Open champion, is 2.25 to win a second Grand Slam title and is 5.00 to triumph in three sets.

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