The first game of the match was a battle that lasted eight minutes, with Kuznetsova finally managing to hold her serve after fighting off break point.
It was a similar story throughout the first set, with both players refusing to concede an inch of the court, resulting in some marathon games.
It was Kuznetsova who finally drew first blood in the fourth game, as the Belarusian put too much into a couple of shots and lost her serve.
However, Azarenka broke back at 4-2 down before breaking once again at 5-5 to serve for the opener. She had to fight for every point, but managed to get her nose in front after 77 minutes of gruelling play.
The second set began with three breaks of serve, in which the defending champion came out on top. She then earned a double break to move 4-1 ahead.
Kuznetsova continued to scrap, but ultimately she could not covert the crucial points and bowed out of the tournament in straight sets.