Azarenka defeats Sharapova for Beijing crown

Victoria Azarenka cruised past Maria Sharapova to capture the China Open title on Sunday.

The top-seeded Azarenka beat Sharapova, the No. 2 seed, by a 6-3, 6-1 margin to claim her fifth title of 2012.

In addition to her victories over Sharapova in finals at the Australian Open and Indian Wells, the Belarus native also won in Sydney and Doha. She is 5-3 in finals for the year and 13-11 lifetime.

"I'm really happy to finally have a really good result here - I've been coming here for the last four years and I'm happy I could finally show my game and hold the trophy," Azarenka said. "I've worked so hard and it all came together here."

Meanwhile, Sharapova fell to 27-18 all-time in title matches, including a 3-5 mark this year. The Russian star has not won since the clay season in the spring when she followed up the Stuttgart crown with titles in Rome and the French Open. She was also the runner-up in Miami and at the Olympics in addition to her losses to Azarenka in Melbourne and Indian Wells.

"Victoria played an amazing match today - there's a reason she's No.1 in the world right now," Sharapova said. "I really appreciated all the support from the fans this week - I hadn't been here in a couple of years but they were so supportive. I know the Chinese fans are some of my most loyal fans."

Sunday's final marked the pair's fifth meeting this year. Azarenka has won four of those matchups, including a semifinal triumph at the U.S. Open.

The other three matchups this year came in finals -- Azarenka winning at the Australian Open and Indian Wells with Sharapova taking the crown in Stuttgart.

Azarenka owns a 7-4 lifetime mark against Sharapova, including 5-1 in finals. The two also met in the round of 32 at this event in 2009 with Sharapova earning a three-set win.

The 23-year-old Azarenka did not drop a set all week.