Tennis

Victoria Azarenka back in form

Updated 1918 GMT (0318 HKT) January 12, 2016
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Victoria Azarenka won her 18th career title in Brisbane on Sunday, making her one of the favorites at the Australian Open. She's already won in Melbourne twice, in 2012 and 2013. Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
After capturing the Brisbane title, Azarenka brought a nine-year-old fan onto the court during the trophy presentation Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Azarenka's improved form, coupled with injuries to players including defending champion Serena Williams, means she could lift a third crown in Melbourne. TONY ASHBY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Maria Sharapova, a five-time winner of majors, is another player under an injury cloud. She withdrew from Brisbane with an arm complaint. Angela Weiss/Getty Images North America
Back in 2012, Azarenka was the most dominant player in the early part of the season, not only triumphing in Melbourne but compiling a 26-match winning streak. Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Azarenka was in tears after winning the Australian Open again in 2013, defeating China's Li Na. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
But there were tears of anguish, she admitted, in 2014 after she broke up with pop star boyfriend Redfoo. Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images for MTV
That year was also difficult on the injury front for Azarenka. She was sidelined for most of the year with a foot ailment, which sent her ranking tumbling. Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
The former world No. 1 admitted she was still in pain for much of 2015 but managed to test Williams in Madrid, at the French Open and at Wimbledon. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
With her run in Brisbane, she began 2016 in the best possible fashion. Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images