Azarenka ends time at the top on a high
February 17, 2013 -- Updated 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
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
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
Today's five most popular stories