Azarenka beats Sharapova to win Indian Wells title

BETH HARRIS AP Sports Writer Published:

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Victoria Azarenka routed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-3 to win the BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday in the WTA Tour's first final between the No. 1 and No. 2 players since 2008.

Azarenka broke Sharapova six times in improving her record to 23-0 this year, the best start to a season since Martina Hingis went 37-0 to open 1997. The top-ranked Belarusian earned $1 million for her fourth title of the year.

It was a rematch of the Australian Open final, which Azarenka won 6-3, 6-0 in January to keep Sharapova from regaining the No. 1 ranking. This time, Sharapova was error-prone during the 1½-hour match on a cold, windy day in the desert. The second-ranked Russian kept hitting close to the lines and missing.

No. 3 Roger Federer was set to play American John Isner in the men's final later.