Maria finally bests Vika…and wins a Porsche

It is the consistent “final pairing” of 2012, and until Sunday, the results have lopsidedly favored Victoria Azarenka. Maria Sharapova has been in four finals so far this year, including the Australian Open and Indian Wells, both runner-up finishes to Vika. Finally, in Stuttgart, Maria was the dominant force, winning 6-1, 6-4 with 31 winners to only 13 unforced errors. Not bad, considering she had to fend off a match point and battle Sam Stosur for over three hours earlier in the week!

While Maria picks up a white Porsche 911 Carrera and $115,000, Azarenka earns a hefty sum and remains number one on the WTA Tour, now 29-2 in 2012.

It was a all-Spanish final in Barcelona, and Rafael Nadal continues to prove he is the force to be reckoned with on clay…defeating David Ferrer 7-6(1), 7-5. That is Rafa’s seventh career Barcelona title.

In Romania, Gilles Simon hoisted the Nastase Tiriac Trophy after a 6-4, 6-3 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini. The Frenchman has won this tournament three times now (2007, 2008).

In Morocco, Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens won her first WTA Title with a win over Laura Pous-Tio of Spain 7-5, 6-0. It was the first tour final for both athletes.

This week, the guys are in Munich and Belgrade while the ladies are in Estoril and Budapest. Roland Garros starts four weeks from today…

More bad luck for Andrea Petkovic – she tore ligaments in her right ankle during a second round battle with Victoria Azarenka in Stuttgart – she’ll miss the next three months.