Victoria Azarenka at the age of 22 embarked on one her greatest years on the tour. Having been a first time Grand Slam semi-finalist in 2011 at Wimbledon and runner-up at the WTA Finals.
2012 proved to be a special year for the Belarusian.
The season started off Sydney for Vika where she won her first title of the year following three consecutive wins against top 10 opponents as left for Melbourne with silverware added to her luggage.
Vika set out her stall pretty quickly with mirrored 6-1 6-0 victory against both Heather Watson and Casey Dellacqua.
Things got a little bit difficult in the quarter finals having to come from a set down to win against Radwanska in a tie-break she didn’t win a point in but won 12 of the last 14 games to advance to her second Grand Slam semi-final.
Another three set battle took place and this time it was defending champion Kim Clijsters sent home by Vika.
First Grand Slam final followed for the 22 year old and she took to it as if she’s played a fair few. The level throughout the match was exceptional winning an impressive 6-3 6-0 against Maria Sharapova to win her first Grand Slam title!
Vika ended her time in Australia with two titles and twelve wins.
The unbeaten run would extend to 26 matches following titles in Doha and Indian Wells with another comfortable final performance against Sharapova.
The run of 26 runs came to an end in Miami with a defeat to Marion Bartoli in the quarter finals.
Vika had a good clay court season being a runner-up in both Stuttgart and Madrid and before Roland Garros had a short trip to Rome leaving in the third round. It was a similar story in Paris going home in round four to Cibulkova in straight sets.
Having left Paris she dived straight into Wimbledon and backed up her points from last season making the semi-finals but Serena Williams proved too strong.
An addition to the calendar was the Olympics in London and Vika walked away with the bronze in singles having lost to Serena in the semi-finals but won Gold in the mixed doubles against Laura Robson and Andy Murray with fellow Belarusian Max Mirnyi.
Vika didn’t have ideal preparations for the US Open having retired in Montreal and missing Cincinnati but it didn’t stop her beating Sharapova on a big stage once again at Flushing Meadows.
Despite beating Sharapova from a set down she couldn’t orchestrate her way through a three set battle with Serena losing the final.
Titles followed in Linz and Beijing for the world number one but her hopes of winning the WTA Finals were dashed in the semi-finals.
Having beaten Sharapova in Melbourne, Indian Wells and at the US Open this time it was the Russians turn and she won 6-4 6-2 in the semi-finals with Vika’s season coming to an end!
It was a fantastic season for Vika who turned 23 just before winning Olympic Bronze and Gold but it was such a special year.
A first major and spent an incredible 41 of the 47 weeks as world number one including 19 wins against top 10 opponents throughout the year.
41 weeks as World No.1
19 x Top 10 wins
26 match win streak
Olympic Gold – Mixed Doubles
Olympic Bronze – Singles
Australian Open title