01/28/2012 05:11 EST | Updated 03/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Azarenka wins Australian Open women's title and takes over No. 1 ranking

MELBOURNE, Australia - Victoria Azarenka routed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 Saturday to win the Australian Open singles title and take over the No. 1 ranking in women's tennis.

Azarenka, playing in her first final in 25 Grand Slam tournaments, was broken in the opening game of the match by Sharapova and trailed 2-0 before taking advantage of 16 Sharapova unforced errors to win the first set in 46 minutes.

The 22-year-old Belarusian broke Sharapova's service to open the second set and never looked threatened to clinch the title in 1 hour, 22 minutes.

The winner of the match had the added bonus of taking over the top ranking vacated by Caroline Wozniacki when she lost in the quarterfinals.