Some 21 years ago in San Jose, Jim Courier became No. 1 for the first time, but lost to Michael Chang and couldn’t manage to win the title.
On Sunday in Doha on the same day that the 125-year-old San Francisco Bay Area tournament, which has been played in many significant NorCal tennis-loving locales such as Monterey, San Rafael, Danville, Berkeley, Daly City, San Francisco and San Jose before the NHL Sharks group decided to slap shot it to Rio, now No. 2 Victoria Azarenka stood up as tall as she has in one year and finally got the better of Serena Williams again, this time a hearty 7-6 2-6 6-3 victory.
Williams will replace Azarenka on top of the rankings on Monday, but I can guarantee you that Azarenka would take this win over the woman who consistently stood in her way as being a legitimate No. 1 over remaining in the top spot for the next few weeks. Serena had taken her out nine times in a row and five times last year and it really appeared that Williams was not only better than she was, but had psyched her out.
Azarenka had out played her in the 2012 US Open final on outdoor hard courts, without question the Belarussian