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
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.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
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
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
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.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
Today's five most popular stories