Sharapova, ranked second in the world, outplayed Azarenka, who had beaten her in the Australian Open final and the Indian Wells final during her 26-match unbeaten run this year.
Sharapova, far more aggressive in this battle of baseliners, snatched an early break to love and fired two successive aces to go 5-2 up.
The Russian broke her opponent again and fired her fifth ace on set point to rush through the first set in 29 minutes.
Sharapova secured the prize money and a luxury sports car with her first match point.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)